Running time 50:28 – 12 tracks
Twice As Good is, at it’s core, a father and son duo from the wellspring of the Indigenous Pomo people of Northern California. Father Rich and son Paul Steward have now released seven albums since their meteoric blastoff in 2003. Told early on that to make it in music, they had to be twice as good, they chose the phrase as their moniker and haven’t looked back.
Rounding out the sometimes revolving Twice As Good lineup currently are three superlative A-list players. James Brown’s last guitar player Robert Watson anchors the rhythm section on bass. Bobby Gaviola, original drummer for Latin Rock group Sapo and protege of Tony Williams and Dave Garabaldi kicks the skins. Robert Reason, producer and former member of the band ConFunkShun aptly handles the keyboards.
In the early years Rich Steward shared his music knowledge with Paul who fast-tracked into an explosive, multi-intrumentalist. Rich plays rhythm guitar and sings background vocals and Paul plays lead guitar, keys, alto sax, harmonica and sings all leads.
Seven of the tracks are written by Paul Steward. The band also covers selections by Alicia Keys, Fats Domino, Magic Sam and Willie Dixon. Their rendition of Harry Dixon Loes children’s Gospel song, “This Little Light Of Mine,” is also included.
Standout tracks include # 10 “Wait So Long,” a slow driving, hook laden ditty with shades of B.B. King guitar and Bobby “Blue” Bland vocal inflections. #12 “These Blues Is Killing Me” with it’s Jr. Walker flavor showcases Paul’s laid back alto sax chops juxtaposed against his staccato guitar solo. Thumbs up as well to #4, their cover of Fats Domino’s “I’m Ready” which stays true to the 50’s feel Rock & Roll vibe including a tad of reverb on the vocal. Track #5 “Dance With Me,” lays a jazzy R&B groove also hearkening back to when records were king.
Twice As Good has good karma going. They work frequently. As Blues Blast goes to press, they have 7 gigs remaining in January. They have played all over including Clarksdale, Mississippi. That gig happened on a tip from the Blues icon Charlie Musselwhite who told them in a personal message after their set, “We were knocked out at how good you all sounded…good real deal blues.”
With another solid album under their belt, their ascent continues.