This Is Where I Live

William Bell first made his mark on the soulful blues market back in 1961 when he released the song “You Don’t Miss Your Water” for the fledgling Stax label. Though perhaps not gaining the attention that many of his label mates may have ultimately received over time, the smooth vocalist and songwriter certainly left his mark creating a series of popular songs. Many of those songs became some of the label’s best known numbers including “I Forgot To Be Your Lover,” “Everyday will Be Like A Holiday,” “Share What You Got,” and most notably perhaps “Born Under A Bad Sign” that he co-wrote with Booker T Jones for Albert King.

But here we are, fifty-five years since that first single and William Bell has cut a disc of music that will stand the test of time and will reestablish his own legacy as a performer. This Is Where I Live has brought Bell full circle back to Stax. And it is filled with some of the deepest soul ballads and upbeat tracks to hit the scene this past year or any year in memory. It could easily have been released back in the day, as it fully captures the sound emanating from the studio throughout the 60s and 70s, filled with horns and tales of heartbreak and joy. It is everything that you could have ever asked for in the genre and then some.  Helping to guide Bell on this amazing recording is producer John Leventhal who also provided multiple instrumentation (guitars, bass, keys, drums and percussion) and back-up vocals, while co-penning a number of the selections.

Bell’s songwriting is filled with stories of love lost and the self-exploration brought about by it. He looks back at where he has been, who he is and where he wants to be in “The Three Of Me.” He compares what goes on in life with your chances in a casino in “The House Always Wins.” The arguments and words that lead to the breaking of a relationship in “All The Things You Can’t Remember” that he’ll never be able to forget.  That lost love is more noted in “More Rooms,” as he realizes just how empty the home they shared is now without her.  Promises were made in an attempt to make it right with “I Will Take Care Of You.” But when it was all said and done tragedy occurs as she put “Poison In the Well” and he drank it. A classic example of Bell’s story-telling showing a return to his well-known form.

But not everything on This Is Where I Live is about sadness and loss. He shares his life growing up in the South on “Mississippi-Arkansas Bridge” and “People Want To Go Home.” He recounts the good times and the people he has known in music and his return home to Stax where he belongs in “This Is Where I Live.”  Two covers are also presented: Jesse Winchester’s soft acoustic piece “All Your Stories” and “Walking On A Tightrope” that was written by Leventhal with his wife Roseanne Cash. There is even a retelling of “Born Under A Bad Sign” that Bell presents in a softer approach than originally recorded back in 1967.

Now in his mid-70s, William Bell has arisen like a phoenix to fully reclaim his spot in the music world, piecing together one of the absolutly most amazing discs of the year. If you want to hear a soul album that feels like a step back in time and music done right, this is one that you’re not going to want to overlook. Do yourself a favor, run out and buy This Is Where I Live. You will feel the passion, the personality and the emotion that only the purest of vocalists and the craftiness of a master story-teller can deliver. The honest truth here is that William Bell has delivered nothing short of a soul masterpiece.

Total Time: 38:55

The Three Of Me / The House Always Wins / Poison In The Well / I Will Take Care Of You / Born Under A Bad Sign / All Your Stories / Walking On A Tightrope / This Is Where I Live / More Rooms / All the Things You Can’t Remember /  Mississippi-Arkansas Bridge / People Want To Go Home.

Delmark Records

Chicago-based Guy King has released one superb recording with his latest, Truth. Tasty guitar licks abound alongside very soulful vocals. Originally from Israel, King has been capturing many fans over the years for his pleasing take on the music that The Windy City has been known for excelling in, including one Buddy Guy who has deemed King as “a bad man!” Of course, after listening to Truth, it’s easy to understand why he receives such accolades.

Dick Shurman served as producer on Truth, and he’s certainly no stranger to the best of blues artists, having worked with musicians such as Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, Magic Slim, Robert Cray, and Charlie Musselwhite among so many others over the past forty plus years. He brings out the very best in Guy King who has the range to seemingly emote sounds of the genre from nearly any time frame effortlessly. With maginificent covers by artists like Ray Charles, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Pee Wee Crayton, Doc Pomus, Percy Mayfield, and well-known songs like “Bad Case Of Love,” “The Same Thing That Can Make You Laugh (Can Make You Cry)” or “One Hundred Ways,” King clearly shows that he has studied the music and knows how to present it too. His takes are deftly soulful and original, not to mention his own songwriting that he displays on a handful of tracks that stand out on their own as well, with the title number dishing up a little jazzier side to his blues that just scores big time.

This is Guy King’s fourth release under his own name, having spent a number of years as guitarist and band leader for the late Willie Kent. Each and every release that King has put out continues to offer just how much he grows as a solo artists while paying heed to those who came before and influenced him. There is no imitation despite the number of material previously released by others. This is fresh and exciting. Guy King is an artist in his own right who needs to be paid attention to. The man is cooking with gasoline and is ready to light the blues world on fire.

Total Time: 1:11:07

The Same Thing That Can Make You Laugh (Can Make You Cry) / Truth / My Happiness / It’s About The Dollar Bill / A Day In The Life Of The Blues / Cookin’ In Style / See Saw / Hey Now / I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues / There Must be A Better World Somewhere / King Thing / Bad Case Of Love / Something’s Wrong / If The Washing Don’t Get You (The Rinsing Will) / One Hundred Ways

I’m A Bluesman
Iron Man Records

michael-burks-cd-coverThere are always losses in life, but when you lose one who meant so much the loss hurts double knowing that you will never be able to share time together again. That is exactly how it felt when guitarist Michael Burks left us suddenly just a few years ago. Burks was a shining light in the blues world. His playing was spectacular and his personality on and off stage infectious. He made his name in the genre and it will forever be rock solid therein.

That is why it is so appealing and welcoming that these lost recordings from Burks’ early days have surfaced to share with all of his legions of followers. Recorded in 1998 at Kingsnake Studios, Im A Bluesman captures Burks’s creativity displaying all of the talents of his songwriting and performing before he became the established and renowned international artist a few short years later. Burke was joined in the studio on this recording by some of Kingsnake’s ace sidemen like Ace Moreland, Warren King, and Bob Greenlee, and this stellar outing sits proudly alongside any of Burks’s later material.

A dozen tracks filled with his burning guitar work. It is a mix of originals and some very well-represented covers from people such as Greenlee, Lou Pride, Joe Louis Walker, and even a very slow, bluesy take on the Hall & Oates hit “Sara Smile.” Burks also possessed a very soulful voice that could come across strong or soft. The latter really comes across nicely on his take of Mike Griffin’s “Blues Will Never Die” and his own “My Little Girl” that has great accents from a horn section. The album closes with an auto-biographical piece, “Raised Up In Arkansas,” where he recounts his father telling him that to achieve what he is after he has to pay his dues. Lucky for us all, he chose the blues to pay his dues within and we’re all so much better for his decision.

Extraordinary guitar work, great song selections and well executed blues performances throughout, I’m A Bluesman is a reminder of all the talents that Burks brought to the world. He may be gone from us, but he’ll forever live within our memories with the outstanding recordings he left behind. Thankfully, we now have these to marvel and enjoy as well.

Total Time: 50:58

What Are You Doin’ To Me / Home Of The Blues / Love Disease / Sara Smile / Broken Wing Woman / I Didn’t Take Your Woman / You Ain’t Slick / Blues Will Never Die / My Little Girl / Game Two Can Play / That’s What I Am / Raised Up In Arkansas

Tick Tock Tick
Gramafono Sound

Will Porter - Tick Tock TickThe first release by Will Porter, 2003’s Happy, was produced by the legendary New Orleans master Wardell Quezergue, and it featured a number of stellar musicians. The album received high praise despite low distribution, and it was soon realized that a second recording should be in the works. Over time Porter’s silky-smooth vocals have been heard working with a number of artists and he has himself been behind the scenes alongside longtime friends like Dr John, Leo Nocentelli, and Jimmy Haslip. Many recordings for Porter’s follow-up project were put together throughout the years while working with Quezergue and yet it still took another five years after the producer’s passing in 2011 to finally get the mixes and production just right to be unleashed upon the public. But without question, that wait was certainly worth the time. Tick Tock Tick is an astounding collection of ever so sweet vocals combined with the right musicians to perfection.

The album opens with the title track, one of the two Porter and Dr John collaborative pieces, and it melds the very distinct opposite vocal styles of the two friends. It is a funky little piece that also shows just how diverse in approach this recording truly is. Much of these differences in sound is the product of whoever happens to be accompanying Porter on an individual number, and that in itself is quite impressive to say the least. Whether it is a ballad like “Why Do We Get Blue?” with The Yellowjackets’ Jimmy Haslip, a Bob Dylan number, “Make You feel My Love,” sung with Bettye LaVette, or any one of the songs where The Womack Brothers join him on vocals, such as Ike Turner’s “I’m Blue (Shoo Be Do)” or the gospel inflected “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” Unfortunately like Quezergue, both Curtis and Bobby Womack have passed on prior to the release of this disc.

Aside from those already mentioned, Tick Tock Tick is packed full of great musicians adding their impact to the quality of this album. They inlcude Tower of Power’s Mic Gillette, The Meters’ Leo Nocentelli, Johnny Bamont from Huey Lewis & The News, even The Louisiana Philharmonic Strings.

But when it is all said and done, it is Will Porter himself who shines above all else. He possesses the kind of voice that only rarely comes around. It is highlighted on every single number included, but especially stands out on “Don’t Go To Strangers.” His baritone voice will melt your heart. It comes across with strings in the background as a classic love piece that you may expect from other enriched vocalists the likes of Lou Rawls, Johnny Adams, or Bill Withers. Yes, Porter ranks right in that same class. Tick Tock Tick is a soul masterpiece, a fitting tribute to the genius of the late Wardell Quezergue and shouts to the world that Will Porter will be heard — so listen up now!

Total Time: 45:38

Tick Tock Tick / Why Do We Get Blue? / When The battle Is Over / Make You Feel My Love / I’m Blue (Shoo Be Do) / This California Sun / I Can Do Bad By Myself / Don’t Go To Strangers / Treadin’ Water / Tear It Up / Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

Way Down Inside
Big Records

big-head-blues-club-cd-coverIn 2011, Todd Park Mohr gathered a group of established blues giants alongside his own band Big Head Todd & The Monsters. Calling themselves the Big Head Blues Club,  they released the tribute album 100 Years of Robert Johnson that was an incredible recreation of the Johnson’s material and also garnered a Blues Music Award nomination.

Well, guess what? He’s back with a whole new line-up of the Big Head Blues Club. Along with The Monsters, Mohr has been joined by Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Denver-based vocalist Erica Brown who spent a few years playing with Dan Treanor. And this time Big head Blues Club is taking on another of the blues world’s most recognized songwriters, Willie Dixon.

Titled Way Down Inside, the songs included read just like the blueprint for the genre. And that’s because they pretty much are having been recorded by the giants of the blues from Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf to the rock icons The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and many others. Willie Dixon set the standard for writing blues music and this disc pays tribute in aces, hitting it square on target with every number. There is one exception here, with the inclusion of the JB Lenoir penned piece “Good Advice,” but it still fits the musical flow nicely and features Mohr, Morganfield, Branch, and Brooks sharing the vocal lines.

There’s lot of juicy good readings here. Popular numbers such as “Hidden Charms,” “Bring It On Home,” “Crazy Mixed Up Kid,” “The Seventh Son” and “I Want To Be Loved” are all included and maybe a few not as well known. A definite highlight is the pairing of Mohr and Brown on “The Same Thing,” that even mixes in a little bit of another Dixon composition “Insane Asylum” that is not mentioned in the track listing.

Big Head Blues Club is such a winning formula. Add in the Willie Dixon songbook and they’ve once again delivered a refreshing and exciting take on something all too familiar in a very loving and well-crafted tribute.

Total Time: 51:28

Hidden Charms / The Seventh Son / You Need Love / Bring It On Home / Let Me Love You Baby / Pretty Thing / Good Advice / Crazy Mixed Up World / The Same Thing / My Love Will Never Die / It Don’t Make Sense You Can’t Make Peace / I Want To Be Loved / Sittin’ And Cryin’ The Blues

John Nemeth And The Blue Dreamers - Feelin’ Freaky

Feelin’ Freaky
Self Produced

John Nemeth And The Blue Dreamers - Feelin’ FreakyYou won’t find John Nemeth’s new album on the shelves at your local record store or available through CDBaby, on Amazon or anywhere else on line for that matter. If you want it, you’re going to have to purchase it directly through him, most likely at one of his performances. Disenchanted with the sales and download accessibility of his previous releases on the internet, including his acclaimed recording Memphis Grease that should have flown off the shelves (well, as much as a blues disc might nowadays), he decided to sell his latest release Feelin’ Freaky, through the old school means of self-distribution. That is to say directly from John at one of his shows. And it’s more than worth picking up if you have that chance. John Nemeth at his routine top notch best. What else would you expect?

Feelin’ Freaky was recorded with production and engineering from Luther Dickinson, Kevin Houston, and Boo Mitchell at both Zebra Ranch and Royal Studios. Nemeth penned eleven original tracks that present his always soulful voice and tremendous harmonica licks. Assisting on the musical end was a top-flight band, most who are working with him on the road, called The Blue Dreamers: Johnny Rhoades on guitar, Danny Banks on drums, Matthew Wilson hitting both bass and guitar with Art Edmonson and Marc Franklin providing horns and Charles Hodges on Hammond for a trio of tracks.

That soulfulness is captured right out of the gate with the opening number “Long Black Cadillac.” There is kind of a Robert Cray feel behind the emotional number as Nemeth mourns as that titled vehicle takes his baby away. You can feel his pain. That pain is still evident in the next number, “Rainy Day,” as nothing seems to be there to bring him happiness after losing his love. The number seems to show that Nemeth has learned a lot about his adopted home of Memphis as this one could’ve been released during the city’s early-70s period of hit soul releases.  With the next track the mood picks up, though it is still rough being  “Under The Gun,” as he explains that it really hard living the blues, so stick a fork in him as he is done. Back on his Name The Day! album, Nemeth asked the question, “Do You Really Want That Woman?” Well, he shows he really does with a follow up here titled “You Really Do Want That Woman,” as he lets you know he’s ready to give up on his vices and change his ways just for her. “My Sweet Love” is a tender piece that has a catchy rhythm to it with his crisp harmonica setting the tone as he talks about everything that his love means to him. Nemeth grabs his chromatic harp as he belts out “Feelin’ Freaky,” and it makes you want to jump and dance along. Certainly a stand-out offering on this excellent disc. Looking at the cover of Feelin’ Freaky you might wonder what’s with the red pickle pictured? Well, it’s all answered in his song “Kool Aid Pickle,” where he finds himself with life going from sweet to sour to wrong. Closing out the album is “S T O N E D,” a song he told me he came up while driving somewhere between gigs in Indiana or perhaps somewhere else in the Midwest. It is another reflection on how he feels as a performer and what his music can bring him.

Overall, Feelin’ Freaky is exactly what you would expect from John Nemeth. It is filled with great tunes and musicianship. The type that has brought so many accolades and awards his way. It proves once again that he is one of the best artists working and at the peak of his creativity that doesn’t seem to see any downhill in his work anytime soon. Make a point to catch John Nemeth live. You’re always going to walk away smiling and it’s the only place you’re able to get yourself a copy of this outstanding recording; at least for now. Exceptionally amazing once again!

Total Time: 34:16

Long Black Cadillac / Rainy Day / Under The Gun / Gave Up On You / You Really Do Want That Woman / My Sweet Love / I’m Funkin’ Out / Feelin’ Freaky / Get Offa That Butt / Kool Aid Pickle / S T O N E D

Mitch Kashmar - West Coast Toast

West Coast Toast
Delta Groove Music

Mitch Kashmar - West Coast ToastMitch Kashmar delves deeply into the sound of West Coast blues with his latest release West Coast Toast — and it’s something that he should be quite familiar with as he has been a longtime mainstay on that scene from his early days with The Pontiax to his current position atop the blues community in Portland, Oregon. For this disc, however, he returns to Southern California and is joined by an all-star cast of familiar names and lays down some of the most dynamic harmonica to be heard from anyone, anywhere.

Kashmar went into the studio and brought guitarist extraordinaire Junior Watson, keyboard master Fred Kaplan and bassist Bill Stuve, all whom he states he met back in 1985 while working on a project with the late William Clarke. On drums, he went to Bay Area skin-man Marty Dodson, who has worked endlessly with Mark Hummel.  Kashmar himself is stellar with his work on both diatonic and chromatic harps. All of these are cats along with Kashmar know the West Coast blues sound like the back of their hands. They should as among them they’ve recorded some of the most important music ever to come out of California with a wide variety of bands

This is Kashmar’s fifth discs on the Delta Groove label, including a live album and re-release of an album from The Pontiax. The album opens with a burnin’ instrumental track, ”East Of 82nd Street,” a reference to the section of Southeast Portland where he now lives. It sets the pace for the following selections on this outstanding recording and is the first of four brilliant instrumentals offered (“Mood Indica,” “Makin’ Bacon,” and “Canoodlin’” are the others). Those harmonica-fueld numbers, as well as the entire recording, showcases the Chicago sound that developed into the West Coast sound and is a tribute to the master who helped create it on the Mississippi saxophone, George “Harmonica” Smith. Smith was a huge influence on just about every harp player out west, including the likes of the late William Clarke, Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, and of course, Mitch Kashmar.

Kashmar takes on a social stance as he questions just how much money are we going to use in “The Petroleum Blues. And he gives another nod to his adopted home of Portland in “My Lil’ Stumptown Shack,” letting all of his Southern Californian pals know that he ain’t never coming back.

He also tackles a handful of covers that he brings out perfectly. They include Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Alcohol Blues,” Billy Boy Arnold’s “Don’t Stay Out All Night,” Willie Dixon’s “Too Many Cooks,” and the Rudy Toombs/Henry Glover piece “Young Girl.”

What you have with West Coast Toast is a keeper of a recording that you’re going to want to place next to all your favorites. It’ll grow consistently on you with each listen and you’ll easily feel it belongs among the best go-to discs in your collection. Hands down, Mitch Kashmar has created a remarkable album that is sure to stand the test of time.

Total Time: 48:35

East Of 82nd Street / Too Many Cooks / Young Girl / The Petroleum Blues / Mood Indica / Don’t Stay Out All Night / My Lil’ Stumptown Shack / Makin’ Bacon / Alcohol Blues / Love Grows Cold / Canoodlin’

Terry Robb - Cool On The Bloom

Cool On The BloomTerry Robb - Cool On The Bloom

Terry Robb without question is one of the finest guitarists playing the blues (or any other form of music for that matter) today. Adept at electric and acoustic guitars, he displays lightning quick, crisp flair on his instrument that is right on the money every time. His true forte is on acoustic and he is the master of both fingerpicking and bottleneck styles with expert original and innovative readings of Delta blues, rags, spirituals, and whatever else he puts his mind too musically.

Robb’s latest release, Cool On The Bloom, finds him on a new Portland-based label, NiaSounds. It is mostly a solo outing with only two vocal tracks. Terry Robb possesses the ability to completely captivate an audience without the need for any sidemen as he displays on seven numbers on the disc. But when he is joined by the likes of Albert Reda or Dave Kahl on bass, Jeff Minnick or Dennis Carter on drums, and guitar master Doug Smith, the music rises again to another level. Alone or accompanied, Terry Robb knows how to grab your ears and give you an intensely pleasurable listening experience.

All of the tracks on Cool On The Bloom are sensational examples of Robb’s skills. Opening with a light-hearted, sprightly rag titled “Soc Hop” that is surely bound to get your toes tapping right off the bat. The piece shows off Robb’s incredible dexterity at finger-picking. “Christmas in Istanbul” was first released on the O, Christmas Three album from the Acoustic Guitar Summit. Here he showcases some very classic approaches on this swinging number with Middle Eastern flavor, joined by one of his Acoustic Guitar Summit partners Doug Smith. Smith also accompanies Robb on two other songs on the album, “Watermelon Eye Patch Groove” and a beautifully-done instrumental take on The Turtles’ “You Showed Me.” “So Glad” and the cover of Rube Lacey’s “Ham Hound Crave” are the only two vocal numbers, and both are presented with a nice jovial approach, the latter kind of makes me hungry with all the mention of Southern food. “Late Night Kahl” is a jazzier offering, and “Honey One” has a moody feeling behind it; both are prime examples of just how diverse the music from Robb can be.

If I had to pick out one stand-out track (which is essentially impossible when everything here is so unbelievable!), it just might be the bottleneck slide work on “”Holy Spirit, Father And Son.” This song sounds like Robb just stepped from behind the sun, jumped over the levee, crossed the cotton fields and sat down on the porch at the local juke with his guitar. Pour the sweet tea, this is as down home as you can get people!

Cool On The Bloom is an exceptional presentation of Terry Robb that shows you just how much he is as one with his guitar, whether using vocals or not. When you have the talent to use your instrument as your voice as Robb does, it is completely exhilarating and often mind-blowing. This album offers all of that and more. Repeated listens will become mandatory; you won’t be able to avoid it.

Total Time: 39:30

Soc Hop / Cool On The Bloom / Christmas In Istanbul / Watermelon Eye Patch Groove / So Glad / Soggy Foot Rag / You Showed Me / Holy Spirit, Father And Son / Ham Hound Crave / Late Night Kahl / Honey One / Grama Jean

Thunder Brothers CD Cover

Eponymous EP
Self produced

Thunder Brothers CD CoverThe Thunder Brothers eponymously titled debut recording is a four song EP chock full of powerful, driving rocking blues. Made up of four of Portland’s most talented and respected musicians, they each have a resume that could fill a warehouse with their historical contributions to Portland’s music scene and beyond. And on this disc these guys don’t just play music, they bring it alive. They’ve unleashed a maelstrom of musical fury that holds nothing back and consumes you with a desire to hear more and more.

The Thunder Brothers are made up of guitarists Michael Quinby and Doug Rowell, with the super pulsating rhythm section of bassist Timmer Blakely and drummer Edwin Coleman III. They play off one another to perfection and you can easily catch the individual contributions by the players on every track; no one overplays his hand, a true sign of a cohesive unit and working outfit.

Quinby and Rowell each created two of the four tracks. They are filled with expressive and fluid lyrics that are ear-catching and memorable, with no let-down from one song leading into the next. You’re hooked right off the bat with the opening guitar riff on “You Scare Me” and pretty quickly find yourself singing along on the chorus. That is followed up by Rowell telling you that if you’re going to hurt me, “Hurt Me Good” and then intensifying his statement with a blistering guitar solo that stresses the point, letting you know that he’ll be coming back for more.  Quinby then returns with a tale of the woman he is attracted to whose skin is like “Molasses” and eyes as black as night and she’s a bit on the wild side. He can’t understand what she sees in him, but he is definitely going to stick around and see. Rowell then returns with the closing number, “Turn and Walk Away,” that opens with fire on his instrument’s strings, rattling the senses with sizzling and ferociousness guitar playing throughout. The full band is pouring their all into the spirit of the song and you’re taken on a rocking ride that just keeps getting better the further into the song you go. It’ll leave you breathless by the end and asking why there isn’t more!

If power blues is something you enjoy, this is definitely a recording you don’t want to pass up. Thunder Brothers is without doubt an appropriate name for this band, they’re bringing out all of the full force of a thunder storm and then some. Play this one loud and be prepared to have your senses stimulated on all fronts. BOOM! This one hits it right!

Total Time: 18:02

You Scare Me / Hurt Me Good / Molasses / Turn And Walk Away

Not Quite Legal
Revved Up Records

Chase Walker Band CD Not Quite LegalThe Chase Walker Band’s second release, Not Quite Legal, is a great indication that these teen-aged musicians were not just another flash in the pan group of youngsters trying their hand at the blues. They really mean their place in the genre and their rocking it big time with their approach, while showing that they’re still growing as a band, too. It is kind of scary just how good these kids are, as songwriters as well as musicians.

Band leader Chase Walker is already quite an accomplished guitarist. He also has plenty of savvy and sass as a songwriter and vocalist. There is a bit of adult language that crops up occasionally in a couple numbers, “Cold Hearted” and “Don’t F It Up” and its earned the release a parental advisory warning label, but even these songs display a creative musical drive that belies the band member’s ages.

Aside from Walker, the band features drummer Matt Fyke and bassist Randon Davitt, who contributes his own songwriting skills and vocals on the track “Changed.” Backing vocals from Jade Bennet-Mateo and April Stephenson also add exceptional soulful contributions to the band’s sound.

Enjoyable covers of Toots & The Maytall’s ska piece “54-46” and a rootsy version of The Wood Brothers’ “Honey Jar” enhance the musical diversity of the album. Then there is “Red House”; this Jimi Hendrix number may make many people say, “Oh boy, that old song? Everybody and their mother has done that one. Here we go again.” But rest assured, this is a superbly rendered take of the song, starting out with Walker working with solid resonator guitar playing that builds up the drive as the band joins in. It shows a lot of respect to Hendrix’ tradition without sounding like every other band who has covered the song. And the distorted vocals brings it all home. Well done!

The band throws in a hidden track at the end of the disc titled “Yabba Dabba” that really shows off the trio working in a jam feeling. They may be young, but they’ve been working together enough to grab each others’ feel and approach to the music. And it just keeps getting better. Keep your eye on the Chase Walker Band, these kids have got it going on and bring across on both recording and in live settings! Wow!

Total Time: 49:33

Done Loving You / Red House / The Walk / New State Of Mind / I Warned You / Cold Hearted / Don’t F It Up / 54-46 / Changed / It’ll Pass / Honey Jar / Living On Thin Ice