Big Dez – Last Train
Twenty years in the making, Big Dez is the brainchild of Phil Fernandez and his musician friends in Paris, France. A 2009 entry in the International Blues Challenge representing France, Phil and his band now have 8 albums under their belt with this new one. Electric blues with flavors of Texas and France blend together in one smooth and savory stew of good music.
Dez on vocals and guitar is joined by Rodolphe Dumont also on guitar, Steve Belmone of drums and tambourine, Marc Schaeller on harp, Laurian Daire on keys, and Cyrile Catois on bass. Horns are Sax Gordon Beadle on tenor, Bertrand Luzignant on trombone, and Benjamin Beloir on trumpet. Leng Woods and Benjamin Collins are backing vocalists.
Things begin with a mid tempo funky cut with some stinging guitar entitled “Bout You.” The organ work is also quite well done (Lucky Peterson) and Dez howls out the lead. “Back To The Little Street” is a sweet, little bouncy number with nice horn support and backing vocals. The guitar work is well done and it’s a fun number. Up next is the more driving “In The Meantime.” Dez sings with emotion and plays some cool lead guitar and solo work.”Last Train” is a another driving piece with a jumping beat. Horns, synthesizer and guitar are all prominent. The title track rocks out and gives the listener quite the enjoyable ride. “By Yourself” is a strident and powerful tune with nice vocals, piano and guitar. “That’s The Way You Can Change” has some great organ throughout and some guitar interspersed that is cool. A funky groove and cool beat sells this one.
“The Felione” offers the listener some big and moving guitar lead and solo work that rocks. “You Know What I Mean” is an angry sounding cut with another driving beat and vicious harp licks and guitar that are nicely done; B3 is added by Lea Worms and gives us a treat to listen to. . Next is “Until The Broad Daylight” with some nice keys and big vocals. “We Gotta Make It” is another rocker with a little bit of a French country twang and feel to the guitar and sound. Gordon lays out some wicked sax here, too. “Any Way You Want To Swing It” offers up an fast paced ride with big guitar and just a frenetic pacing that’s fun. The organ support is well done but the guitar is the star here. The CD concludes with “Memphis,” another driving cut with lots of boogie woogie piano, more big vocals and good guitar work.
This is a fun album that gets the blood flowing. Fernandez and company offer up some tunes to dance to and enjoy. The tunes are rocking and the ride is fast. The blend of Texas blues rock and French artists shows that the blued are alive and powerful there- vive la France! If you are looking for rock blues album that is hard charging and gives you a dozen hot and original cuts, then this one’s for you.