Bobby Radcliff – Hard Hitting
12 songs time – 45:09
The toast of the New York blues scene Bobby Radcliff has enlisted a choice group of musicians from Finland and Sweden to back him on his latest project. This effort was recorded at Suprovox Studios, Finland. The guitarist-singer offers up twelve diverse blues covers with just a two guitar, bass and drums line up. He shares lead guitar duties with Jonne Kulluvaara from Helsinki, Finland. The sound is ok except for the fact that the drums tend to be mixed a little low.
“High Cost Of Living” is a slow-ish blues with skittering guitars with Bobby’s matter-of-fact vocals that set fine here. He shows a more exuberant vocal performance on the lively “Why Baby”. The band chugs along nicely on “Man Or Mouse”. Freddie King’s instrumental “In The Open” gets it just deserves as the guys give it a run for its’ money.
Up next is a two song visit to the New Orleans music scene, leading off with Professor Longhair’s perennial “Mardi Gras In New Orleans” were the rhythmic guitars make up for the usual piano parts. “The Fat Man” Fats Domino gets the Bobby Radcliff treatment on his “I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday”. Fats’ warm vocal is missed, but Bobby does it proud.
Jimmy Dawkins’ “I Wonder Why” takes things back to the good old Chicago blues. This versatile guitar band shows its mellow side on the Ivory Joe Hunter classic “Since I Met You Baby” that finds Bobby in fine voice. “Sometimey” friends are the subject on the reality checking “Talkin’ About My Friends”. This time they cover a more obscure Fats Domino track in “Please Don’t Leave Me”. It’s another New Orleans Rhythm And Blues gem featuring vocal-guitar call and response. Shop closes up with Elmore James’ instrumental “Bobby’s Rock” to take things out in style.
Here with have another keeper of the traditional blues that keeps things fresh and up to date. A steady vocalist, two well versed guitarist and a crack rhythm section what self respecting blues fanatic could want more? In a perfect world I would of liked the drums a bit more up front, but that’s a minor quibble. This band rocks out the blues in grand fashion.