from Town to Town
and Rhythm, August 2013
knew I was going to like this as soon as the first notes of
the opening, driving Cal Green – penned instrumental
pounded out. Barrelhouse Chuck has been on the road with Kim
Wilson and Co. for around seven years, and this set is no
nonsense blues, r&b and vintage rock’n’roll.
Looked at objectively, it’s great!
The track listing
tells you pretty much what you need to know. Chuck draws on
his years of experience of playing the real deal Chicago
blues, learning from the likes of Little Brother Montgomery
and Sunnyland Slim. Kim’s harmonica playing is in its
element here, recalling the likes of Walters Big and Little,
and he even handles the vocals on the exemplary covers of
Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘I’m Leaving You’
and Chuck Berry’s rocking ‘Thirty Days’.
Barrelhouse Chuck’s own singing is also excellent on his
six vocal numbers; try the wonderful version of ‘Stockyard
Blues’ or ‘You Can’t Live Long’ –
two Floyd Jones covers!
The other All-Stars include bassist
Larry ‘The Mole’ Taylor (of Canned Heat fame) and
drummer Richard Innes – and both were at one time the
Hollywood Fats rhythm section. Sax Gordon applies his always
tasty sax appeal to five num bers, and guitar duties
throughout are shared between Billy Flynn and Jeremy Johnson,
two of the most talented blues players around these days –
and both get plenty of opportunity to showcase their talents;
for suitable examples, take a listen to the always enjoyable
‘Lucky Lou’ for Billy, the ringing licks of ‘The
Big Push’ for Minneapolis’s Jeremy.
sheer volume of ‘product’ issued these days, it
can be sometimes easy to forget what attracted us to the blues
in the first place. Discs like this are a timely reminder!”