Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cleveland Fats - The Way Things Go (Honeybee, 2006)

A veteran of Robert Lockwood's band, bluesman Cleveland Fats brings a fine dose of old school blues on his latest CD. Fats plays guitar, sings and wrote the majority of the tunes, while being supported by Aron Burton on bass, Dave Jefferson on drums. Aaron Moore, Ariyo, and Vince Willis share keyboard duties. This is traditional electric blues with a strong Chicago influence. Instead of relying on a lot of time worn standard compositions, the tunes update traditional blues themes, like the enjoyable "Cell Phone Blues" which cheekily describes Fats attempts to get out and have a good time being foiled by his lady keeping track of him through the phone. The swinging "Cheaters Never Win" and "You'll Love Again" slow the tempo down and allow Fats gruff vocal stylings and fluid guitar to take center stage. This is a fine modern blues disc with a tight band and some well written songs. There's nothing radical here, just an re-invention of the time-honored traditional themes of the blues and this disc is well worth the time of blues fans.

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