13 tracks/53 minutes
I’ve fallen in love with this band. Yeah, some of the faces have changed, but Andy Talamantez is a superb guitar player and Nick Nixon’s vocals just keep grabbing at me and getting my attention. The production by Anson Funderburgh is also exceptional. He has done a fantastic job filling in the holes of the band’s departures and blends in sounds on harp, horns and keys to make an outstanding and joyful noise from track one through thirteen!
“Baby Right Now” kicks things off with a great groove and nice solo by Andy T. The sax work is great (Ron Jones here and mostly throughout) and Larry Van Loon on piano and B3 makes for a great blend. “Best In Town” starts with Christian Dozzler on harp and then progresses methodically and forces you to get into it. “Livin’ It Down” is the antithesis to the album title where Nixon sings how his ex is livin’ it up and he’s livin’ it down. Cool lyrics and delivery with more great sax and piano. In “My Baby Is Now On My Mind” continues the lost love theme and some bluesy lyrics and the band sells it well. Piano and guitar make this cut special; Andy does a great slow solo here. “Good Man” takes it down completely; the slow blues is seminal and right down in the storm sewers. It gets down so far hell would be upstairs. Nixon and Andy T are super here. Then we have “One Note Shuffle” with a fun little groove going and Dana Robbins making her first appearance on sax. Andy T picks out some mean and lean notes and Van Loon is magnificent on his B3. A very cool instrumental!
“Back Down South” pays tribute to the South being the place to live as Nick sings lovingly about it’s benefits. This one also has some good organ, but it’s Nick who sells it with his vocals and then Andy seals the deal with some great finger work on the frets. Jones also has a sweet solo here. “Last To Leave” is a honky-tonk number that they get into. Andy does another great solo; Dozzler switches to piano and Jones plays the sax line while Robbins solos big time on sax. Another lost love song is what we get on “Let’s Say It For Good” as Nick tells his woman it’s not worth trying to come back this time. Piano, B3 and guitar all solo well here. “Snake In the Grass” offers some warnings about the guy who might steal your woman, that snake in the grass. “Whatever You Had You Ain’t Got No More” is soulful and way down tempo. Offering Jones on Sax and Robbins on a solo again means it’s another excellent horn piece. “Oh Baby” offers more of the same and I’ll gladly take it. The band is great and the horns are just such a sweet accompaniment and solo. Andy first offers up a fine guitar solo and then Robbins come in later with an equally good one. They close with “Love At First Sight” where Nick sings touchingly about his woman. The number is subdued but effective. Robbins takes the whole song on her horn and does another great jobs here bantering with Nixon and making this extra special.
This is the blues coming to you via Nashville and Southern California. Nick is based in the soulful blues of Tennessee while Andy T comes from California but moved to Nashville where he hooked up with Nick Nixon and it was a wedding made in heaven. These guys were musically made for each other. Drink, Drank Drunk was a marvelous piece of work last year and this follows right on it’s heels! Another super album by two of the blues world’s hottest new talents. A great sophomore release that needs to find a slot in your CD cabinet!