Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

REVEREND RAVEN AND THE CHAIN SMOKIN' ALTER BOYS

SHAKE YOUR BOOGIE

2011-01-04

With a voice that evokes memories of Rick Estrin of the Nightcats and some righteous blues guitar chops Reverend Raven could make a good living as a solo artist. Instead, he puts his prodigious talents to even better use in the company of a hot wired band that features wailing saxophone compliments of Big Al Groth, top notch harmonica and vocals from Madison Slim and a revolving line up of drummers, bass guitarists and keyboard players. (Drummer Bobby Lee Sellers adds vocals on a couple of tracks as well). Recorded live and raw at the Miramar Theater in Milwaukee (but without an audience) this disc features everything from straight electric boogies, "Stomping and Shouting", to jazzy groovers, "You Didn’t Even Say Goodbye", to mid-tempo scorchers, "Just Count the Days" and "Bricks in My Pillow", slow grinders, "I Can Do You Right" and Southside Chicago style blues harmonica showcases, "She’s Murder" and the title track. While the multiple vocalists and changing line up would sabotage a less experienced crew, the Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys are up to the task with each track fitting seamlessly into the mix. Standout tracks include Hound Dog Taylor’s "The Woman I Love" which gets a rocking treatment worthy of George Thorogood’s Delaware Destroyers, the rollicking instrumental, "PT’s Home Cooking", which gives various members of the band the chance to strut their stuff, and the slinky, "Mail Box Blues". Righteous blues, done right. Give the Reverend an “amen” for this one. Smitty

More reviews tagged #Blues

  • reviewed 08/2008

    TONY JOE WHITE
    DEEP CUTS

  • reviewed 06/2008

    SOLOMON BURKE
    LIKE A FIRE

  • reviewed 11/2016

    AL BASILE
    MID-CENTURY MODERN

  • reviewed 11/2009

    SHELLEY KING
    Welcome Home

  • reviewed 03/2012

    KILBORN ALLEY
    Four

  • reviewed 05/2017

    Brother Sun Sister Moon
    Liberty

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.