Tas Cru – Riffin’ The Blues | Album Review

Tas Cru – Riffin’ The Blues

Subcat Records


11 tracks

This is Tas Cru’s latest effort, another fantastic set of all new songs that feature great riffs, or as he says, “That relentless melody that grabs you by the throat and just won’t let go!” These tunes embody that, with superb stories, lyrics and, most of all, outstanding guitar hooks.

Produced by Tas, he also features two stalwart musical guests: Mike Zito and Bruce Katz. Zito adds his guitar to  the opening and closing cuts. Katz plays a larger role, appearing on pianos and/or organ on each tracks. He and Zito are superb.  Tas’ studio mates are May Ann Casale on backing vocals, Bob Purdy on bass, Ron Keck on percussion, Andy Hearn on drums (with the first track featuring Lenny Milano on drums) and Bill Barry also adding organ to the top track. Tas, of course, takes care of lead vocals and guitar.

The title tracks gets things rolling. A great groove carries through the tune as Tas sings and plays with passion. Zito’s guitar is emphatic and poignant in support and on solo. Tas testifies to his passion and six string fever in riffin’ the blues. Katz helps carry the tune on organ as Tas and Zito build into a rousing finale. Next is a fun cut Tas gained inspiration from in Memphis at the Rum Boogie Bar.  “Brown Liquor Woman” was inspired by two genteel members of the opposite sex who were appalled by other women who sipped of the darker spirits.  Katz lays out some pretty piano work as Tas sings and the backing vocalists give ample support. Brown liquor women don’t drink champagne or wine like more refined females; they have whiskey and perhaps more on their minds. “Stand Up!” follows, fitting into the protest song mold as catchy social commentary. A driving beat and message make this one a winner.  Tas sings emphatically and the band supports with equal emotion. A nice guitar solo and organ backing add much to this one. Things slow down with  “One More Time,” featuring a great opening by Katz on piano and then some delightful guitar licks by Tas. This blues ballad tells the story of things that matter between him and his woman. There’s lots of pretty guitar and the organ come in to add depth and texture to the music.

“Throw It All Away” follows, a bouncing and slick cut with cool guitar featured. Tas again sings with emotion as he navigates another interesting cut about relationships. Next is “Crazy Getting In My Way,” which has a heavy beat and great vibe to it. Organ and guitar mix seductively with the vocals and wind their way to and organ and guitar duo of sorts that is delicious. “Heal My Misery” is a funky cut that moves along nicely with Katz laying on some more great organ as Tas’ guitar gets a groove on. Another super guitar solo is offered up here, too. Slow blues is next with “House Of The Blues.” Emotive and deep guitar opens the cut with Katz layering on some organ for effect. Tas the singer give us grit and feeling as the guitar and organ help to also set the mood. A huge guitar solo is featured here.

More funkiness follows with “Let It Happen.” Tas describes his doctor giving him the diagnosis that it’s not his diet that is causing his problems. The doc tells him he worries too much and needs to let life happen. Tas gives us some nice solo licks on his six string to enjoy, and then Katz follows that with a cool piano solo. To cap things off, his doctor give him a prescription for some whiskey; I need to meet that doc! Things swing on the next track with a nice boogie entitled “Miss This Man.” Tas tells his woman she’s gonna miss him if she gives him up. Passionate vocals, strident piano (including another primo solo), layers of fine organ and excellent guitar riffs make this one a great cut. The tempo cools off for the deep and haunting start of final track. “Memphis Gone” which concludes the set, with some pretty slide, piano and vocals. Things then build as Tas and the band get into it heavily. The slide and piano are outstanding as they play off each other with feeling.

This is the eleventh album release by Tas and he’s giving it his all. The songs are all top-notch. They all have great stories and are delivered with passion and excellent musicality. I truly loved this alum and I think Tas has a real winner here– this is the blues done up right. I strongly recommend this one!

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