Little Bobby – God Made Me Blue
Untouchable Productions/Self Released
Little Bobby Houle hails from Minnesota and is a Native American bluesman with seven well done releases and two DVDs to his name since 2005. He was “discovered” that year at the Last Ride Blues Festival in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, his home town; Buddy Guy headlined that event. He released his first album that year and is a soulful bluesman with a guitar style Influenced by Hendrix and Jimmy Page.
Bobby went on to Chicago and worked with Nora Jean Bruso and co-wrote and recorded her 2011 album Good Blues, which achieved great reviews. The same was true for Sunday Wilde and her 2014 He Digs Me release that he also co-wrote and recorded. Houle began his musical life on drums and moved on to guitar. His early life may have been influential in him getting the blues, and his vocals surely exemplify his soulful blues talents. He handles all the instruments here except as noted. He wrote all the songs.
Little Bobby begins with a ballad with Lydia Rose. He plays some soulful guitar; the two of them sing this impassioned duet. “I Feel Like Drinking” is next, a gutsy and romping cut with lots of slick guitar and nice horn accompaniment by Maurey Finney. “Dream” follows with a nice tenor sax opening by Finney. This song reminds me a little of “Whiter Shade of Pale” as Bobby croons as the sax plays with him. Randy Keonen adds a little tasteful pedal steel guitar to the mix. Next up is “Just Like My Old Man” which pays homage to his musician father; actually, Little Bobby is a third generation musician. This one’s a slow, jazzy blues rocker with some greasy guitar and sax and Bobby trading off vocals with a distorted version of himself. It works!
“My Favorite Mistake” features Rose once again on vocals. It’s another great blues cut. “Bring Back The Old School” is a pretty, slow blues with stinging guitar and well done organ support. He follows that with “Hold On” and another gritty performance. “That Ain’t Right” features vocals by Ashley Nupdal who unfortunately passed away a few years ago after recording this track with Bobby. Little Bobby begins with some tasty dobro along with Ashley’s vocals and then the band comes in for a big and cool sound.
I enjoyed this album. It’s short (about 30 minutes) but showcases Little Bobby and his friends putting on eight great performances. He’s got a big sound and is a great musician and performer!