Peter Poirier – Empty Arms | Album Review

Peter Poirier – Empty Arms

’59 Records

10 songs time-30:42

This is the debut release from Peter Poirier, a Boston area guitarist-vocalist whose music is a modern day throw back to what a traveling blues/R&B band would of sounded like. That’s not to say it sounds like a museum piece. Peter and his band mates cover morstly obscure songs from some of the blues greats. His vocals are smooth and his guitar playing is energetic and inventive. Plus he has enlisted a group of musicians with a formidable list of credits coming out of the wazoo. Bassist Brad Hallen and drummer Mark Teixeira are currently in Duke Robillard’s band. Piano man Matt McCabe has played in the bands of Duke Robillard, Anson Funderburgh, Roomful Of Blues and others. The extraordinary saxophone player is a one person sax section as he overdubbed sax parts. His resume on stage and in the studio runs the gamut from being a member of Roomful Of Blues to Albert Collins, Billy Boy Arnold, The Coasters to Red Skelton, Wayne Newton plus countless others.

Needless to say with a crew with these credentials it’s smooth sailing from beginning to end. The vibe here is R&B infused blues produced by the man himself and engineered by Jack Gauthier with totally enjoyable results.

B.B. King’s “Bad Luck” brings us old-timey blues and gives the first listen to Peter’s soothing vocalizing. What’s a blues record without a song about drinking? How about two? Jimmy Liggins’ “No More Alcohol” fits the bill featuring Matt McCabe’s piano styling’s accompanied by Ike Turner’s “I’m Tore Up”. A fitting treatment is given to the Sleepy John Estes-Hammie Nixon classic “Someday Baby”, the most familiar song here.

The other two B.B. King tunes “I Wonder Why” and “And Like That” get the typical classy and smooth Peter Poirier treatment. His guitar plays against Mark Earley’s driving saxophone section on both songs. “Empty Arms” the title tune carries on the easy rollin’ vibe much in the same manner as Wille Dixon’s “I Cry For You”.

The proceedings close out with another blues immortal in the person of Freddie King. “You Know That You Love Me” highlights Matt’s piano playing and needless to Peter captures Mr. King’s guitar style quite nicely. Freddie’s instrumental “Heads Up” could probably fool anyone to thinking it is actually the man himself.

As Duke Robillard attests in his liner notes-“Overall this is an impressive recording, from the feeling, the playing and the attention to detail in the sound quality, which was expertly captured by Jack Gauthier at Lakewest Recording”. This coming from an iconic present day first rate bluesman. What he said. Do your ears a favor and pick this up.

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