available at cdbaby.com
12 songs time-44:54
William Purvis And The Seventh Sons deliver a thoroughly pleasing and enjoyable musical experience. The Charlottesville, Virginia native headed to Chicago upon graduating from college. Chicago found him steeped in the blues. The move afforded him the opportunity to observe legendary bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker, James Cotton and Dave and Louis Myers of The Aces, both while at college and later in Chicago. Prior to this release his band’s sound leaned more towards blues and soul music. This time around a touch of country and western music flavors their blues approach. Purvis handles vocals, slide guitar, rhythm guitar and harmonica while Mark Wydra plays lead and rhythm guitars.
Tony Wisniewski plays upright bass while Mark Fornek and Alpha Stewart (one track) share the drum chores. Brian O’Hern contributes occasional piano and keyboards. Fiddle and horns augment the band at times. The band is sure-footed at every turn. You’ll find no “grandstanding” guitar displays, just solid playing. Some tunes favor a more easy-going rock style. When they take on the blues they have a solid grasp of the genre.
Purvis’ “everyman” vocals fit nicely into every song here. The title track starts things off with an easy rollin’ country pace with harmonica and jangly guitar. This is a get happy song. It’s infectious. The country influence permeates “State Of Mind”, complete with country guitar from Mark Wydra and Brian O’Hern on piano. Rick Veras lends his fiddle playing to compliment the slide guitar on the breezy “Used Car Blues”.
Real deal blues are brought into play on “Sure To Follow”. The vocal gets gruffer and Mark plays some nifty guitar solos while William gets down on the blues harp. The blues get taken at a slower pace on the melancholy “Unlucky Whiskey”. The slide guitar here is nicely sinewy and whiny. The guys turn in a bouncy slide guitar-guitar instrumental workout with “Walk Ins Welcome”. This band can play their butts off.
They cook-up a honky-tonk weeper with “Trophy Wife”, a tale of a plan gone wrong. Mexacali horns, fiddle and pedal steel-like slide guitar create the atmosphere. “Stretch Limousine” is loads of fun, chock-full of country-ish guitars as the narrator dreams of luxury. The slow and moody harmonica-guitar instrumental “Particles” sounds like something out of Charlie Musselwhite’s songbook. It once again shows the diversity of all musicians involved. A blues torch song “Too Sad To Sing The Blues”, brings up the rear. It’s full of a night club ambiance… jazzy guitar, schmaltzy horns and cocktail piano.
When musicians are truly having fun and enjoying what they are playing it’s impossible to hide it. Being first-rate players to boot it creates a perfect package. The listening experience here is warm and friendly as if you’ve listened to this records for years. Hearing something as genuine as this makes me appreciate the rewards of being a reviewer. There are a lot of riches among the occasional coal, but every once in a while you uncover a gem such as this.