Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet




West Coast based vocalist and harp man Lynwood Slim is paired on this disc with the youthful (they are all younger than 24) Igor Prado Band from Sao Paulo, Brazil. While they don’t have geography in common, Slim and the band share the same musical DNA. This is a rollicking, swinging effort that will have you moving from the first note to the last. Surprises abound on this release. First, there’s a hard swing to Slim’s vocals that he’s kept mostly under wraps on his prior solo efforts. Then there’s the music: simply put, these cats have chops. "Blue Bop" is an exhilarating instrumental ride taken at a break-neck pace that would be the perfect way to climax any barroom set. Another instrumental, "Bill’s Change" also gives the band a chance to flex its musical muscles with Prado and saxophonist Donny Nichilo trading leads in an old-fashioned cutting contest. The Wynonie Harris jump/swing classic "Bloodshot Eyes" gets a wailing sax solo that could come off one of the great Honkers and Bar Walkers compilations. "Little Girl" and "Show Me the Way" find Slim and crew taking a visit to the south side of Chicago for some low down blues compliments of Slim’s rich harmonica and Prado’s understated, but just right, guitar. Buddy Guy’s playful, yet ominous, "Shake it Baby", gets a unique twist by virtue of the unexpected flute outro while Dave Bartholmew’s "Is It True" benefits from its authentic New Orleans groove. The band also reveals it knows how to turn off the amps and lay down low key supper-club jazz on the simmering "Maybe Someday" where the music lays the perfect framework for Slim’s pleading vocals. "The Comeback" finds the band shifting time throughout with complicated jazz phrasing keeping things interesting. While tradition has the grizzled delta blues picker showing a new generation the blues ropes this set reveals that a middle-aged white guy from the West Coast can do a fine job as well. A terrific release. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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