Delmark Records – 2015
13 tracks: 57 minutes
Originally from Chatanooga, TN, Corey Dennison established himself on the Chicago scene playing guitar for twelve years with Carl Weathersby and has now released this impressive debut studio album. Corey handles all vocals and plays guitar with Gerry Hundt (ex-Nick Moss & The Fliptops) on guitar and organ, Nik Skilnik on bass and Joel Baer on drums. Corey and Gerry collaborated on eleven of the songs and Gerry contributed two of his solo compositions so there are no covers at all.
The CD opens with “Getcha’ Pull!”, a song about family members and moonshine, an infectious tune led by the twin guitars on the riff and bubbling bass holding it all together. Corey has a good voice for the music, a touch of grit with soul inflections and the whole thing is a slow-growing earworm that latches on to your mind after a couple of plays. “Tugboat Blues” has everything we all love about electric Chicago blues; driving rhythm, ringing guitars and impassioned vocals before Gerry’s “The Deacon” which has a really soulful feel, Corey’s voice carrying the song well, the whole bringing Marvin Gaye to mind and the interchange between the guitars is great!
However, the definitive proof that Corey can sing soul comes with the gorgeous “Room To Breathe”, a standout track with its easy soul groove, shimmering lead guitar and Corey’s excellent vocal. The soul continues with another first class song “City Lights” which shows the influence of former mentor Carl Weathersby but we return to the blues with “She’s No Good” which could easily be a lost Jimmy Reed tune as the rhythm section drives the song forward.
“Aw, Snap!” has a slinky funk rhythm and some nice Albert King guitar fills as Corey recounts in mainly spoken form some tales from everyday life that force the reaction of the title – ‘what else can I do?’ “Don’t Say You’re Sorry” returns to soul with Corey moving on from a failed relationship and playing some superb guitar in the central solo.
So far we have not heard a slow blues but that is remedied with “A Fool’s Goodbye” in which Corey’s guitar again has a lot of Albert King’s style about it. An instrumental workout “Jasper’s Hop” gives plenty of space to both Corey and Gerry before “Shame On Me” provides one of those classic break-up songs. Gerry’s “Strange Things Happening” is a short, upbeat tune in which the lyrics certainly match the title before the album closes with a solid shuffle “Good Enuff” which it certainly is to close this excellent album that deserves to bring a new name on to the blues scene beyond Chicago. Highly recommended!