Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nick Moss and the Flip Tops - Live at Chan's Combo Platter No. 2 (Blue Bella Records, 2009)

With so many blues bands leaving the tradition of the music behind to engage in over the top wankery, it is a great pleasure to hear this band. With a nice crisp, clean sound and no pretentious soloing, this band is the real deal. Consisting of Moss on guitar and vocals, Gary Hundt on bass and harmonica, Kate Moss on bass, Willie Oshawny on piano and Bob Carter on drums, this is a tight and strong band whose live performance has been honed to a razor's edge. "Spare Ribs and Chopsticks" opens the album with a nice tight instrumental performance which has the band sounding fresh and firm. "Try to Treat You Right" is a mid-tempo grinder featuring deep and soulful vocals. "Whiskey Makes Me Mean" changes up the pace with the band using acoustic instruments to get a nice barrel-house boogie feel. "Lonesome Bedroom Blues" is a deep slow blues, with thoughtful and patient electric guitar work in the spotlight. Rippling piano work from Oshawny is a treat too. "Fill 'er Up" brings the tempo back up with a well done blues harp interlude swinging the band into a hot instrumental performance. Blues guitarist Lurrie Bell sits in for the remainder of the album and opens "Don't You Lie to Me" with a stinging solo, encouraging the band to a loose jam. Eddie Boyd's classic "Five Long Years" is taken at medium tempo, with nice emotional vocals and a grounded and earthy guitar solo. Muddy Waters' chest thumper "I'm Ready" gets an appropriately strutting treatment from the band, with some nice fluid guitar work from Bell and Moss taking center stage. This was a very good live album of old-school electric blues. Moss and the band have a wonderful sound, and must be a treat to see live in concert. Mixing originals with blues standards, they have a unique and enjoyable sound which pays homage to the blues tradition without being slavishly retro.
Live At Chan's - Combo Platter No. 2 - amazon.com

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