EB Davis – Treasures from the Vault | Album Review

EB Davis – Treasures from the Vault

Rockwerk Records


CD: 12 Songs, 64 Minutes

Styles: Classic and Traditional Blues, Heretofore Unreleased Songs, Compilations

“Never before released!” Blues fans, if you’ve ever seen these words on a CD or DVD, they typically mean one of three things: 1) “hype, hype, hype,” 2) “this stuff was ‘never before released’ for good reason,” or 3) “newly-unearthed gems.” EB Davis’ Treasures from the Vault, produced by Germany’s Rockwerk Records, is a prime example of case number three. All twelve selections on this heretofore-unknown compilation are terrific, hearkening back to the days of classic blues and big-band sound. From start to finish, the album’s production values are top notch. To top it all off, Davis and company play blues with the sustained vigor they deserve.

EB’s biography on last.fm (https://www.last.fm/music/Eb+Davis/+wiki) reveals these details: “My first exposure to music was gospel, because that was the only thing allowed in the home. When I was six or seven years old, I was walking home from school and there was an old guy, Jim Hunt, sitting on his front porch and he was playing a big acoustic guitar. . .I had never heard this kind of music before, and the way he was playing and the way he was singing. I was just totally fascinated. I asked my mother what kind of music was he playing and she told me I shouldn’t go back over there anymore. So I started to sneak over there without my family knowing it. I just fell in love with that music.” When he was around fourteen, he left Arkansas behind and moved to Memphis, truly a blues mecca. EB Davis has more than 19 recordings to his name and can be heard on numerous other recordings as a guest: a career of more than 7,000 concerts in more than 60 different countries.

Performing along with EB is his Superband: Nina Davis on keyboards and vocals; Willie Pollock on saxophone and vox; Ben “King” Perkoff on sax; Tom Blacksmith on bass and vocals; Jürgen Bailey on guitar and vox, and Lenjes Robinson on drums and vocals.

Prestigious guests include Aron Burton on bass; Chris Rannenberg on piano; Jan Hirte on guitar; Keith Dunn on harp; Adam Chalk on Fender Rhodes; Paul Griesbach on saxophone; Freddy Fischkal on guitar; Earl Bostic and Eberhard Post on bass; Loco Joe on guitar; Jürgen Magiera on organ; Fuasi Abdul Khalif on sax; Peter Behne on drums, and Mike Russell on guitar.

These glorious sixty-four minutes of music begin with a “One-Way Ticket” to the heyday of ‘50s and ‘60s-style blues. Featuring a bouncy rhythm and jovial atmosphere, it’s perfect for the dance floor. Rest your feet but keep the beat on “This Woman, the Devil and Me,” a slow burner as hot as Memphis BBQ sauce. Dig the opening lyrics: “That old devil must not like me, ‘cause he put this woman on me. They worked out a little scheme. Here’s how it would be: He would make me love her, right from the very start. And then she’d laugh and walk away, leaving me with a broken heart.” As Zoomers would say: oof. Chicago blues encourages a certain busybody to “Get Yourself a Life” on track three, and further on down the line, our faithful narrator is proud of being “Tried, Tested, Found True.” The closer, “Memphis,” lasts an impressive eleven minutes and thirty-eight seconds. You’ll love all of it, especially if you’re with a dance partner.

Acquire these Treasures from the Vault as soon as you can. They’re brilliant!

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