Self-titled, self-produced CD
10 songs – 52 minutes
Young American Double Action Revolver is a three-piece band from Chicago with a different approach to the blues. Instead of adapting Windy City stylings, they look to the South for their inspiration. They’re a Hill Country ensemble who get their influences from Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside rather than Muddy Waters and B.B. King.
Lead singer, guitarist and rack harmonica player John Liggett and bass player/backup vocalist Brian Mickey toured the Midwest for several years in the band Voodoo Pilot. When that group disbanded, they enlisted Mark Mickey on bass. The music they produce is stripped down, much more suited to a juke joint in the Mississippi Delta than it is in the formal surroundings of a blues bar on Chicago’s North Side while still retaining some of the feel of a power blues trio.
Like many Delta recordings, this one was recorded live in only six hours without benefit of overdubs or control room gimmickry. All of the material is original. The resulting product is stripped down trance music.
Brian uses an open-tuned slide on dobro for “What A Night” as he recounts the life of a touring musician, compete with images of blood on the hay at a gig and hotel visits from the maid. He adds chorded harmonica accents atop a solid, straight-ahead rhythm pattern and heavy drum beat. He takes harp lead to introduce “My Lucky Day.” His technique is very basic, much closer to Bob Dylan or Neil Young than any of the greats, as the song speaks of the horror of surviving a shooting in which the bullets passed between his legs.
The singer seeks the warmth of a distant love in the uptempo shuffle “Been So Long” before “Bar Stool Blues” serves up praise for a favorite tavern. “Let Me Do That For Ya” drones about willingness to do just about anything for the object of one’s affections, while the rocker “Love Don’t Make No Sense” repeats the title as verse throughout without any explanation. The band slows down for “It’s The Thought That Counts,” which also leaves the theme to the listener’s imagination. A military drum beat introduces “Down The Road,” which vaguely refers to lightening one’s load. “Don’t Be Down,” an eight-minute boogie spirit-lifter, and “You Won’t Believe Me,” a song of desire, conclude the disc.
Available through iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and Spotify, Young American Double Action Revolver is pretty basic throughout. If you’re looking for something sophisticated, look elsewhere. But if you have a taste for Hill Country stylings and are seeking something different, it might be right up your alley.