Westside Andy – Blues Just Happen | Album Review

westsideandycdWestside Andy – Blues Just Happen

westsideandy.com

Earrelevant Records

11 songs time-50:49

Chicago style ensemble blues at its’ best. Damn these guys can sure play! With Westside Andy Linderman’s top notch harp skills and weathered blues vocals, the versatile guitar playing of Billy Flynn, Barrelhouse Chuck’s mastery of piano and Farfisa organ along with the crack rhythm section of Steve Dougherty on drums and Dave Wood on bass, somebody tell me why this band isn’t more well known outside of the mid west? Andy first picked up a harmonica at the age of eleven and hasn’t stopped playing since. The Madison Wisconsin native has played with the likes of Luther Allison, James Cotton, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin among many others. Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd gushes over Andy in the liner notes. The interaction and give and take between the band members gives us a schooling in what the blues sound like in the hands of masters. This performance was recorded live at The Armory in Janesville, Wisconsin.

The band kicks right in with a lively take on Little Walter’s “Just Keep Loving Her”, with the triple threat of Andy, Billy and Chuck trading licks. Billy Flynn shows off his down home slide guitar prowess on a fine version of Muddy Water’s “Mean Disposition”. John Lee Hooker’s “My Daddy Was A Jockey” is done up as a jump blues that features fine guitar and piano playing.

Another Little Walter tune, the instrumental “Sad Hours” is a showcase for Westside Andy’s command of the harmonica. Billy Flynn takes the vocal chores on his own composition “Liquor Store Blues”, a song that shows what ensemble playing is all about. Memphis Slim’s “Lonesome” gives Barrelhouse Chuck a chance to display his mastery of blues piano.

Westside Andy’s “Just Cuz” is an instrumental showcase for harp and piano. The guys do a fine job on Detroit Jr.’s blues chesnut “Call My Job”. “Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You” is an instrumental with a nice melody that features Billy Flynn on wah-wah guitar. The short instrumental “Over & Out” closes the record out on a high note.

The sound and feel of traditional blues will stay alive as long as people like Andy and his band are around to fan the flames. The music in their hands is far from sounding like a museum piece. It is a living and breathing vibrant performance. Recordings like this do an old Bluesdog’s heart real good. Don’t take my word for it, go out and pick this one up and make a believer out of yourself.

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