Little Bobby – Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck | Album Review

Little Bobby – Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck

Untouchable Productions

8 tracks – 36 minutes

Robert “Little Bobby” Houle III is a third-generation Native American musician having grown up with his father, Big Bobby, and grandfather, who is in the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, and who were both musicians.  He was born on the Red Lake Reservation in Thief Rivers Falls, Minnesota and has continued to make his home in Minnesota. He currently owns Little Bobby’s Bar and Grill in McIntosh, Minnesota, as well as his own production studio there. He further runs his own streaming show, Little Bobby’s Juke Joint, every Wednesday night at 9:00 PM at He has played at the Chicago Blues Festival and as far ranging as the Rawa Blues Festival in Poland.

This is Little Bobby’s tenth album. his two most recent albums, God Made Me Blue (2022) and The Killer B Sting (2023) were both listed on the Roots Music Report as one of the Top Albums Chart on the annual Roots Music Report. With exception of Chris Katko making a guest appearance on harmonica on the first album track, all instruments on the album are played by Little Bobby, including guitar, bass, drums, piano and organ. As a child he first started playing drums, then shifted to the guitar after listening to Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. The other instruments just came along over the years.

The album opens with him singing that his woman is “Nothing but Trouble” as his slide guitar rips through the song. “Set You Free” is a slow, gut-wrenching song inspired by the unexpected death of his niece. He expresses that he “never ever wants to get the blues like that” but at least “this evil world has finally set you free.” “Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck” features an excellent guitar lead-in. He says, “Ever since I was a child, I suffered the blues” “You can’t always predict the cards you are dealt”. “I can’t say I had it any worse than you”. Sometimes “you just have to adjust your bet”.

“Fast Food Mama” is a rocking ode to the woman who is as “quick as a McD’s drive through” and she “calls him her Big Mac and I calls her my Little Chick Fil-A”. “Jack and Jim” talks about Little Bobby’s best friends, his drinking buddies, in another rocking song. He notes “I don’t mind sipping champagne, don’t mind drinking beer, but I am drinking because my sweet thing is not around.” “Sometimes I Get High” is a slow, crying ballad as he advises “that sometimes I have been put down, been treated like dirt”, been “locked up, been broke as hell”, “playing these blues is the only peace I have found.

He encourages everyone to “March On”, “you have to soldier on” no matter the hardships “keep on shining like a superstar”. Bobby returns to the Crossroads to discuss “When Robert Made His Deal”, telling the tale of the man who stories claim sold his soul to the devil to gain his guitar expertise. He exclaims, “Blues ain’t nothing but hard times”. “There ain’t no shame in getting the blues.”  ” I try so hard just to get by.”

Little Bobby delivers some excellent blues rock touching into Chicago and the Delta. His vocals can be described as raw and penetrating, but carefully driving every song with well-considered lyrics. This is the third album I have from Little Bobby and readily recommend his albums to anyone who loves blues rock from one with a great touch on the guitar.

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