RJ Starr – The Brooklyn Blues Band – One Damn Yankee
10 songs time – 27:40
A Brooklyn transplant now residing in Jackson Mississippi, RJ Starr formed The Brooklyn Blues Band in 2017 and tour extensively. RJ sings, plays guitar and wrote all of the songs largely with a country-ish slant. The approach is rather lightweight with not an over abundance of guitar soloing. RJ supplies mainly rhythm guitar and various players contribute keyboards, sax, harmonica and backing vocals to flesh out the sound.
The title song “One Damn Yankee” is the kind of country music that they dance the “Boot Scoot Boogie” to. RJ’s vocals are kinda of the “gee wiz” variety. I can’t help it, “Emily In The Morning” brings to mind The Partridge Family” if they had a boogie woogie piano player. Could “Hole In The Bucket” be the B-side? The Partridge Family jamming with The Dillards? One of the few RJ guitar solos.
The groove is tougher and grittier on “Sweet Potato Man”. Oh no, could this be double entendre? Keith Boutwell’s harmonica and the piano of James Bell liven up “Tight Pink Sweater”. “Take Me Home Tonight” benefits from the inclusion of some bright electric piano. Another infrequent guitar solo on the touristy blues of “2-Lane Blues”. I suppose “Bobby Gonna Sing The Blues” is a reference to saxophonist Bobby Connor being featured on the song.
With a length of just under twenty-eight minutes the band could of offered a bit more time to show more of what they have to offer. Most of the music here has an obvious country influence to it. As well intentioned as this effort is, it comes off as lightweight in its’ delivery. For me the keyboard playing from James Bell is a highlight of this recording. Well heck, it’s a mostly upbeat affair that folks might find a soothing relief from the usual guitar heavy blues-rock proliferating the scene today.