DC Carnes – Delta Crossroads Vol II
DC Carnes was an original member of the Robert Lockwood Jr. All Stars and this CD appears to be a follow up to the award winning album Delta Crossroads from 2002 on Telarc Records. Carnes pays tribute to the masters with nine songs here with his band of drummer Rod Reisman, bassist Bill Watson and pianist Justin Gorski. This Cleveland-based artist gives us some inspired performances of familiar songs we all know and love. Fishhead is a Cleveland label that has also recently recorded and released Bobby Messano’s Lemonade album.
Carnes pay homage to his mentor Robert Lockwood Jr., who connects back to Robert Johnson in the Mississippi Delta. He starts with Lockwood’s “I Gotta Find Me A Woman” and picks out some tasty licks as he and the band shuffle nicely through. Piano gets some work and the guitar solos are well done. “RJ’s “Sweet Home Chicago” is done with tribute to Magic Sam and Carnes gives a Chicago West Side feel to this standard. He and Gorski again do some nice solo work. Jimmy Roger’s “Rock the House” gets a nice cover as upright bass sets a cool groove and Carnes and the band swing through this one. Carnes gives us a little BB King to savor in “3 O’clock Blues” where he sings and plays with emotion; the slow blues are well done here. “Memphis” is next, the iconic Chuck Berry song. Carnes does it as an instrumental as he lays out some cool licks and Gorski adds some good work on the piano.
“Gimme Back My Wig” pays homage to Lightin’ Hopkins in this driving and bouncing song. Carnes does a great job on the slide here and we get another sweet piano solo, too. Freddie King’s “Hideaway” is next and Carnes and company do another nice job on this classic, familiar instrumental piece. “Kind Hearted Woman” follows, another Robert Johnson cut, Carnes howls out the lead vocals as he accompanies the song on a subdued electric guitar. The piano accompaniment is also subdued in keeping with Carnes’ delivery, a cool cover. Last up are two versions of Johnny Winter’s instrumental “Ice Cube.” Both takes are a bit down tempo from the original, as Carnes lays out some Texas licks on his guitar for us to savor. The barrelhouse piano also adds to the feeling here as Gorski lays on some fine work on the ivories.
Carnes does a really good job here paying tribute to Robert Lockwood, Jr., and all the folks whose songs he and his band cover. Nothing s overdone or overstated; Carnes plays with a degree of reverence and puts some of his own spins on these great songs that we all know and love. I hope to hear more from DC Carnes!