Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

LIL' CLIFF & THE CLIFFHANGERS

THE LOVIN' KIND

2012-07-30

Hailing from New York and winning a top ten place in the 2006 International Blues Talent Competition in Memphis, Lil' Cliff & the Cliffhangers excel in the rollicking sound of Jump Blues and old school R& B. This four piece outfit is fronted by Lil' Cliff Bernard on vocals and harmonica. With a big booming voice and a twinkle in his eyes, Bernard works his way through the 15 tracks with an infectious zeal that pulls you into the fun. While upbeat fare such as the title cut with its call and response chorus, George Smith's harmonica driven "Oopin' Doopin' Doopin'", Willie Dixon's "Twenty-Nine Ways (To My Baby's Door)", Little Walter's "Up The Line" and the party ready "Down In Louisiana", make up much of the disc, the band also gets into a lowdown blues groove on "Heaven Can Wait", George Smith's "Rockin'" and Doc Pomus' "Lonely Avenue", and even lays down a Robert Gordon style countrified lament, "Ace Don't Ace Me Out", and a jug band style ode to a "Creole Belle". Adding some spice to the mix is the sly, slinky Leiber & Stoller classic, "Three Cool Cats", the double entendre' gem "Spank That Monkey", which features a percussion driven beat and monkey howls over Cliff's incessant harmonica and guitarist Dennis Phelps' wild guitar, and the innocent sounding beach tune "Queen For a Day" which has more saucy nighttime than innocent daylight built into the schedule. Fun from beginning to end. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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