Delta Groove Records – 2016
16 tracks; 63 minutes
Take one up and coming guitarist who enjoys traditional sounds and vintage equipment, add an expert harmonica player from the old school, season with some guest vocalists and you get this disc, perfect for lovers of traditional blues. The rhythm section is Troy Sandow on bass and Malachi Johnson, Brian Fahey or Marty Dodson on drums, Bob on harp and Big Jon on guitar with engineer Danny Michel helping out on rhythm duties. Jon and Bob wrote three tunes each, guest vocalists Willie Buck, Tomcat Courtney and Dave Riley each brought a song to the sessions and there are seven covers.
There are many highlights here, from Bob’s deep-toned harp contributions to his own “Here Comes My Baby” and the latin-tinged instrumental harp feature “El Centro” which also features Jon’s striking guitar work. A wide range of ages is also represented here, from 80 year old Tomcat Courtney who sounds great on his Mojo In My Bread to teenage drummer Malachi who appears on ten tracks. Of course Big Jon is only in his twenties but sounds far older on cuts like “Goin’ Back To Tennessee” and “My Feelings Won’t Be Hurt”, two of his contributions which bookend the CD. Bob is originally from Chicago and another Windy City stalwart Willie Buck sings his own “You Want Me To Trust You,” a classic blues tale of infidelity; Bob’s frequent collaborator Dave Riley’s deep, booming voice features on “Mississippi Plow” and Alabama Mike’s higher pitched vocals are at the heart of the extended “Somebody Done Changed The Lock On My Door” on which Jon switches to slide to great effect. Elsewhere two of Slim Harpo’s tunes appear: the rolling “I’m Gonna Miss You Like The Devil” finds Jon leaving guitar duties to Danny Michel, using plenty of reverb to get that swampy feel; “I’m A King Bee” is Willie Buck’s second vocal, Bob’s harp ‘buzzing’ most appropriately.
Chicago meets Louisiana, all recorded in San Diego!