Larry Griffith – Get Up | Album Review

larrygriffithcdLarry Griffith – Get Up


CD: 5 Songs; 21:40 Minutes

Styles: Ensemble Blues, Contemporary Electric Blues and Blues Rock

People all over the world know “Man shall not live by bread alone”. The inner self must be nourished just as much as the body. Even though Matthew 4:4, prescribes “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD” for spiritual sustenance, another “victual” is awesome: music. Larry Griffith, a native of the inner city of Cincinnati and now a resident of Atlanta GA, knows this firsthand. He has been physically and spiritually hungry, in a chronic way. Last December, on a review of his album Hard as it Gets, yours truly mentioned that Larry was raised with nine other siblings in a crumbling tenement. He’s traveled light-years away from that existence, encouraging people to Get Up and prosper. Music was his salvation, and on this five-track CD which is more like an EP, his gratitude shows.

If the blues are comparable to food, Get Up is a quick snack on the road. It’s not even thirty minutes long, clocking in at a gaunt 21:40 running time. Fast food offerings may be terrifically tasty, thanks to our friends Fat, Sugar and Sodi-Yum (ha ha), but they leave us yearning for more. So does this release, which motivates blues fans to get up and dance. The fun is over too soon. While it lasts, however, it sizzles with sensational instrumentation and festive blues flavor.

This is an ensemble album, packed with far more musicians than songs. Along with Larry Griffith, as he performs on vocals, guitar and drums, are Rashaan Griffith on keys and horn arrangements, bassist Tim “T-Groove” Henderson, Carlos “The Breeze” Capote on harmonica, Jim Ransone on guitar, and Rusty “Haymaker” Hayes joining in with these five on harmony vocals. Backing them up are the Solid State Horns: Nick Longo on alto and baritone sax, Bob Lewis on trombone, and Ken Gregory on trumpet and sound engineering.

These three selections, out of five originals, were hard to classify as “best” – all are great.

Track 01: “My Jack is Jumpin’” – Everyone needs “M-O-N-E, M-O-N-E-Y”, which might have been a catchier title for the opening number. After suffering unemployment and hard luck, our narrator finds himself rolling in dough: “My jack is jumpin’. Let me tell you something. Never had but a little bit, but now I’ve got a whole truckload of them dead Presidents.” The slick, strutting beat might be more addicting than cash itself.

Track 02: “Get Up” – Is this an invitation to leave one’s seat and move one’s feet? Indeed, but it’s also an ultimatum to the souse in this tune: “Get up (get on up). Get out (get on out). [You’re] stinking from your drinking.” The guitar and Solid State Horns are smoking.

Track 05: “Why, Baby?” – Smooth harmonic vocals grace the last track, featuring a lover who might have been “planting more than flowers” in the garden her man bought for her. This is the most traditional, Chicago-style track on the album, which will please purists.

If fans don’t have much time, not even a half hour, they should Get Up and party anyway!

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