Monday, April 24, 2006

CD Review: JW Jones Blues band

Kissing In 29 Days
Northern Blues

JW Jones is one of Canada's superhot blues axeslingers. His groove is jumpy and swinging with non-stop drive and power. From his vocal tone to the Lone Star heat, the shadow of the Fab T-birds looms large. 11 out of 14 of these smokers of juicy sauce slathered BBQ are works of their own design to which Jones' twangy axe and a slow cooked rhythm section are added for a truly tasty aural menu.

The brisket, ribs and chix are pulled out of the trusty cooker starting with titler "Kissing In 29 Days." The joints are really succulent with the flavors of Memphis' Stax and west coast. Jones' axe echoes with the influences of T-Bone, Gatemouth and Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, while the sax of guest and, ex-Ray Charles tenorist, Fathead Newman add some spice to the flavor. "All My Money" oozes the axe, the sax and Piazza knack, too.

The whole 40's and 50's thing with big voiced men shouting in front of a large numbers of supercharged horn blowers is reprised herewithin as the Wind Chill Factor Horns do it big. If anyone took a breath during the swooping speed of "Parasomnia", I couldn't hear it. Think Mingus meets Johnny Otis on Los Angeles' Central Ave back when!

KC blues oozes out of "Fly To You" like the juice from a Missouri fatback rib and "Way Too Late" is soft, smooth blue caramel weeping desserts of sorrow. "Pretty Little Sweet Thing" juices it up again with some fine Memphis power.

Nearing the end of this repast, "No Love" gives a kickback of guitar pepper that stings and sates with greasy sax creme brulee ladled over a chili brownie. From da funk of "Games" to a chilling good cover of 'The Genius' Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love Her So" featuring a Fathead solo, it is inside this box of takeout and adds up to quite a tasty meal.

BBQ, cool suds, sweet licks and hot pepper pain ecstasy-oooowwweeee.

On TGB planetary scale, this one ends sizzling up on saucy Venus.

This review submitted by Dr. Blues. Log on to his website at

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tab Benoit

Brother To The Blues

Reviewed by Dr. Blues

Brother To The Blues finds my favorite bayou bluesman, Tab Benoit, in the fine company of compadres with a similar roots slant. Backed by a passel of Louisiana LeRoux members, Jim Lauderdale, Waylon Thibodeaux and Billy Joe Shaver, the roots are in for a work-out.

The profound power of early country (Hank, George Jones) and the soulful gut wrenching of blues are cemented by the cult classic sound of Louisiana LeRoux. Waylon Thibodeaux fiddles true cajun while Shaver rasps through hard lives and times. Lauderdale was rocking roots when few knew what it was. Tab calls him the "new guy from the old school." Together, they divulge and develop Benoit's earliest musical influences.

Opening with a 4WD swamper called "Pack It Up," Tab trims the wick on a soul burning cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me." Yearning flows out of the axe like honey. "Brother To The Blues" has crying pedal steel and the soft tears of good ol' country. The heat cranks up on a Creedence styled "Why Are People Like That," first penned by Robert Guidry, which explores inter-personal relationships in a unique fashion while Tab sears with his R&R axework.

LeRoux members provide understatedly beautiful vocal harmonies throughout the disk including the Hank Williams/Jimmy Davis prison song, "I Heard The Lonesome Whistle." Tab wonders what's happening in her pretty head as warbling Hammond and pounding guitar orchestrate "If You Love Me." Shaver articulates "Comin' On Strong" backed by Benoit on pedal steel and Thib's fiddle. Closing with "Can't Do One More Two-Step," Tab and Waylon trade licks while bemoaning the working musician's plight.

She wraps up tight and Tab's done what he does for 55:07 of swamp blues, country and soulful pain and joy. On The Great Beyond planetary scale, Tab Benoit comes in hovering between Venus and Earth.

Review used by permission. Check out Dr. Blues' website at