Willie May – Blues Like That | Album Review

Willie May – Blues Like That



CD: 10 Songs, 37:31 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Electric Blues Rock, Swamp Blues, All Original Songs

When it comes to the blues rock/swamp blues scene, Willie May is like Stephen King. Fans can rely upon three things from him and his band: 1) rock-solid entertainment; 2) at least one album per year, and 3) a postprandial feeling akin to the one after a good fast-food meal. Willie may not be the world’s best vocalist or lyricist, but he knows what he’s doing on guitar for darn sure. He proves it on Blues Like That, his newest and twentieth (!) release. It features ten original tracks that run the gamut from moody swamp blues (“Don’t You Cry”) to ‘50s-style jump blues (“Ferris Wheel”) to funk/punk (“The Party’s Over”). May brings several co-performers along for this loping ride through the blues wilderness, and the overall effect is invigorating.

When you’re this prolific of a musician, your credentials pile up, whether live or in the studio. As for Willie, he’s taken his original blend of music to the blues clubs from The LaFayette Tap Room in Buffalo to Antones in Austin, TX, The Black Swan in Toronto, The Penny Arcade in Rochester, The Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls, The Slippery Noodle in Indianapolis, Fat Fish Blue in Cleveland, Bflo Blues in Pittsburgh, and to countless other venues on thousands of occasions. ‘Tis no typo – May has participated in that many events.

Accompanying him are Evan Laedke on organ; Jeremy Keyes on harmonica; Jim Wozniak on organ; Joe Skinner on bass; Ken Parker on saxophone; Larry Cheeley on saxophone; Mark Garcia on congas and drums; Mark Panfil on slide guitar and piano; Mike Silver on harmonica; Owen Eichensehr on drums, piano and guitar; Randy Corsi on drums; Robert Freightrain Parker on bass; Ron Sugarman Kain on guitar; Tom Corsi on bass, and Willie Haddith on slide guitar.

Sometimes the best blues are the ones that get our feet jumping and our hearts pumping:

Track 03: “Ferris Wheel” – “You don’t know the way that it makes me feel, going round and round and round like a Ferris wheel. Here we go again…” The repetitive twist groove of this catchy tune puts one in mind of the carnival contraption. Unlike a Ferris wheel, however, relationship ruts are no fun. Dig Larry Cheeley and Ken Parker on saxophone here, combined with May’s red-hot shredder.

Willie May has put forward another commendable effort with electric Blues Like That!

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