AG Weinberger – Mighty Business | Album Review

agweinbergercdAG Weinberger – Mighty Business

BigFoot Records – 2015

11 tracks; 62 minutes

Romanian guitarist and singer Attila (AG) Weinberger has lived and worked in the States where he recorded with Tom Hambridge but this album was recorded live in Bucharest in 2009.  AG handles lead guitar and vocals with Sorin Petrila on rhythm guitar/B/V’s, Vlad Spatar on bass/BV’s and Miklos Orban on drums.  There are four of AG’s own songs alongside seven covers.  The overall sound is quite heavy blues-rock and AG sings in a very deep and gruff vocal style, a little like Omar Dykes.  AG sings all the songs in English with just a hint of accent.

The covers include three credited to Muddy Waters: the cover of “Standin’ Round Cryin’” is played pretty straight with some wild slide work from AG; “The Blues Had A Baby And They Named It Rock n’ Roll” is harder to recognise as the band funks it up, even including a short feature for the rhythm section; “Baby Please Don’t Go” opens the album in strong style and is the third Muddy track though the tune is usually credited to Big Joe Williams, though Muddy certainly recorded it.  Sam Taylor’s “Mother Blues” has plenty of torrid guitar from AG and is immediately followed by a very short reading of The Meters’ “Cissy Strut”.

AG tackles “Ain’t Nobody’s Business in an extended but respectful cover with some fine guitar work that resists over-playing until the final couple of minutes. The final cover is Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce”, not the standard fare of most blues bands but unfortunately it provides far too much space for AG to over-indulge on guitar before he passes the baton to the drummer to solo – never a favourite moment, even on a live album!

Of the originals “I Can’t Get Enough” is a good rocker with plenty of impressive guitar work over a catchy refrain, probably the stand-out track; “Sweet Little Number” sounds familiar from the off, probably because the tune borrows substantially from “Messin’ With The Kid”.

The two other originals are both extended pieces: “Try To Get Into The Middle Of The Road” is more melodic than much of the material here, AG and the band’s English faltering a bit on the chorus; closing track “Take Me To The Highway” is a fast-paced rocker with a skittering guitar break which simply did not keep this reviewer’s interest though the extended applause at the end indicates that the crowd in Bucharest had a different opinion.

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