One of the best vocalist working today, John Németh has received a multitude of nominations for Blues Blast and Blues Music Awards, with four consecutive BMA nominations for the B.B King Entertainer Of The Year Award. His live shows highlight his dynamic stage presence, super-tight band, and a wealth of original songs that range from down-home blues to fervent ballads.
His latest release offers eleven originals in a variety of styles, ranging from the tender love song, “My Sweet Love,” to a taut appeal to rise up and dance on “Get Offa Dat Butt”. Breaking out his harmonica, the singer punctuates the title track with potent wails while beseeching a woman to take a walk on the wild side. “You Really Do Want That Woman” builds on one of Németh’s best known songs, “Do You Really Do Want That Woman”. He acknowledges the effort and sacrifices necessary to maintain a relationship over a horn-driven arrangement complete with a loopy guitar line.
“S.T.O.N.E.D” is not a celebration of getting high – instead, Németh lifts up a passionate plea for open minds, truth and righting the wrongs of the world. “I’m Funkin’ Out” doesn’t offer much lyrically but Marc Franklin on trumpet & flugelhorn plus Art Edmaiston on tenor & baritone sax command the listener’s attention, adding a dose of spice to the brooding track. Németh pours out his troubles on “Kool-Aid Pickle,” trapped by a conniving woman with no end in sight.
Several tracks could have been part of Németh’s previous project, the award-winning Memphis Grease. “Rainy Day,” complete with strings, finds him lamenting the error of his ways that left him broken and alone. The track is brimming with the classic Hi Records sound, especially with Charles Hodges from the Hi Rhythm section on the Hammond organ. The band creates a similar groove on the dark tale of love gone bad, “Gave Up On You”. Németh tries to exorcise his pain, reflected in blasts from the horns while Hodges adds an additional layer of tension with well-placed organ swells.
Saving the best for last, Németh showcases the full range of his vocal skills on “Long Black Cadillac”. As they do throughout the disc, the rhythm section of Matthew Wilson on bass and Danny Banks lay down a rock-solid foundation and guitarist Johnny Rhoades stokes the fire with shimmering fills. It is a fitting ending for a disc that provides plenty of highlights while proving that John Németh continues to be one of the top-tier performers for soul & blues music. You certainly can’t go wrong with this one!