Bad Daddy – It’s A Mad Mad Bad Dad World
Piehole Records – 2022
10 tracks; 53 minutes
It’s been fourteen years since Maine-based blues-rock band, Bad Daddy released their debut self- named album, and they have just followed that with the cleverly titled It’s a Mad Mad Bad Dad World. Group leader, guitarist and singer, Paul Waring, has a “day job” as a yacht designer and part-owner of a marine architecture and engineering firm, which seems somewhat unlikely for a blues musician. But as he had noted previously in interviews, it pays the bills to allow him to then play the blues.
Both Waring and Pete Galanis play guitar on the album. With two lead guitarists it’s not surprising that, although they are never over-emphasized, the pure, beautiful guitar solos stand out as the major strength of the album. This is particularly noticeable in “Just My Luck,” “Left Me with The Blues,” and “The Blues I Can Use”. However, all of those joining them, (Elton Jaan on Hammond organ, Art Seder on Bass and Jason “JROC” Edwards on drums) are also clearly excellent musicians.
Perhaps the best song on the album is “The Blues I Can Use.” This is a slow blues number featuring the Hammond organ and Waring’s gritty, emotive vocals. In addition, “Pork Pie Hat” offers some great visual imagery, noting “I was drinking my gin and soda in my pork pie hat…let me grab my big sunglasses and my pork pie hat…I bought a feather in band…that ain’t no fedora.” The rest of the album features a variety of tempos along the blues-rock continuum.
The only relative weak area on the album is that the lyrics can be a bit simplistic, and don’t tell a full story, instead relying on brief, repeated references to love relationships. For example, one song notes, “my baby gave me some real bad news—she packed up her leaving trunk and left me with the blues,” while the next repeats “Don’t you know it’s true, I’m blue on you.’ And the final song simply repeats “do you love me baby? Do you really care?” without heading toward any more interesting aspects of the referenced relationships. This is disappointing since some of the power of the blues comes from the way lyrics tell a story or reflect how people work their way through problems.
Overall, however, this is a solid contribution to the blues rock genre, and fans will be hoping that it’s not another fourteen years before Bad Daddy releases their next album.