The Bob Lanza Blues Band – Kids, Dogs & Krazy Women | Album Review

The Bob Lanza Blues Band – Kids, Dogs & Krazy Women

Connor Ray Music

11 songs – 42 minutes

Kids, Dogs & Krazy Women is the fifth album release by the New Jersey-based Bob Lanza Blues Band and is a fine, punchy collection of modern blues-rock, superbly recorded by ex-Spin Doctors guitarist, Anthony Krizan, at his Sonic Boom Recording Studio in Raritan, NJ.

The core band comprises Lanza on guitars and vocals, Dave Lockhart on bass and Vin Mott on drums (Mott also contributes some pretty tasty harmonica to various tracks, including “Every Side Of Lonesome” and “Hey Cotton”). They are joined for this album by John Ginty on piano and Hammond B3 and Krizan himself on guitars, vocals, drums and percussion.

Featuring a nice mix of originals and covers (frustratingly, there are no writing credits supplied with the CD or the press kit), the album opens with the superb title track, where Lanza humorously laments the three primary problems in his life, while Krizan lays down some killer slide guitar. Both “Kids, Dogs & Krazy Women” and the second track, the Texas-style shuffle of “Little Mama” have catchy choruses while Mott’s harmonica on the latter track is particularly impressive.

Elsewhere, there is a Magic Sam-esque minor key ballad, “Not The Man I Used To Be”, a muscular updating of Little Frankie’s 1963 hit “Full Time Lover” (perhaps most famously covered by the Fabulous Thunderbirds), a fine cover of the Thunderbirds’ own “Let Me In” where Ginty’s piano excels, and perhaps most surprisingly, a magnificently re-imagined “Walking After Midnight”, which becomes a swinging West Coast blues.

Lanza sings with a full-throated roar that especially suits the rockier tracks, such as the breakneck tribute to James Cotton, “Hey Cotton”. He is also a fine guitarist, laying down a series of powerful solos. He receives first class support from the other musicians, with Lockhart and Mott/Krizan laying down a series of solid grooves. Krizan also engages in some entertaining guitar duels with Lanza, such as on the aforementioned “Hey Cotton.”

Lyrically, Lanza focuses on the trials and tribulations of love, albeit often with his tongue firmly in his cheek, such as on the title track or on the funky “Problems” where he confesses he has “problems with my woman” as well as “problems with my wife”. The Chicago-shuffle-on-steroids of “Hey Baby” nods to various classic blues lyrics as Lanza determines to move to the country and paint his mailbox blue, whilst expressing concern about the packages the mailman may be dropping.

There is a high-energy buzz to most of the music on Kids, Dogs & Krazy Woman, which is nicely moderated by the final track, the instrumental “Raritan River Stomp”, which sees the band pick up acoustic instruments with some more tasty slide guitar from Krizan.

Kids, Dogs & Krazy Women is a relatively short album, clocking in at just over 40 minutes, but there isn’t any filler here.  This is a superbly played and produced modern blues-rock album that is very much at the blues end of the blues-rock spectrum. Very nice.

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