by Chris Puyear :
This disc is a good blend of blues & rock styles. Gary has put together some real good grooves, three are re-makes of classics and the other eight are originals. Gary’s range of styles is impressive, from hard rockin’ songs to acoustic blues. Gary’s playing is fine and his voice is well suited for the blues.
In the blues/rock category I would include “Midnight Train” a kickin’ song with a nice guitar groove. “Stoned” is actually more rock than blues. This song has a big dose of wah-wah and some fuzz, you could imagine this tune coming from the late 60’s with ease. “Like Your Kind” is another mostly rock song, this one has a slow to medium speed hard driving grind, it’s an easy to like beat. Gary does some old style R&R on “Hello Josephine”, real classic stuff. “Little Girl” is one of my favorites, it’s hard to describe, not exactly blues or rock but this song has what I would call a rolling boogie beat. The beat just keeps rolling along, while there is a hint of acoustic slide guitar that keeps echoing, a real nice groove and a good sound.
Another track I can say is a favorite of mine is also the biggest surprise on this CD. After a few rockers I didn’t see this one coming. “Going South” is a great acoustic steel slide guitar tune. This is as sweet as it can get, just a man and his guitar. The playing is super, the style is classic and Gary’s singing is soulful. There’s a rocking cover of “Shake Your Money Maker”, the first notes have a thumping base line that brings to mind the band Foghat, we’re talking heavy duty bass. The song is done in a traditional way with a slight change of pace, I like it. “Burning Down The Barn” is a nice rockin’ instrumental that has both hard electric and some well placed acoustic licks.
If you like the low-low I mean real low down blues then you will like “Big Legged Woman”. A cover this ain’t, yes it’s the song you know but you’ve never heard it this way. Imagine Muddy doing the Hoochie Coochie man with fuzz tone, that’s as close as I can get. Gary’s version has a guitar grind that just won’t quit. There’s so much guitar I have a hard time picking out exactly how many of what kind are playing, (it doesn’t matter) it’s just fine stuff.
The final track is “New Orleans”. The title of this song is a perfect description of the style, it’s a slow soulful song that starts out with only piano and accompaniment, eventually some guitar and organ fall into place. Gary’s singing really fits this style, a nice ending to this disc.
“Keeping the Blues Alive Award”
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation