Sunday, December 12, 2010

Studebaker John and the Maxwell Street Kings - That's the Way You Do (Delmark, 2010)

Veteran bluesman "Studebaker" John Grimaldi assembled this band to honor the legacy of Maxwell Street, the location of the open air market in Chicago that played host to some of the city's finest blues musicians and created an enduring legacy of music. Composing all original material in the Maxwell Street tradition, Grimaldi plays guitar, harmonica and sings, supported by Rick Kreher on guitar and background vocals and Steve Cushing on drums. They play a gutsy brand of no-nonsense blues that wouldn't sound out of place on the street itself. Highlights of the album include the excellent harmonica led instrumental "B-Line" with rhythm guitar and drums locking into a deep pocket to support the swooping and sliding harmonica. "Taylor Street Boogie" mines the same vein, paying tribute to the legendary Chicago bluesman Hound Dog Taylor, with some superb slide guitar and a sense of fun that made Taylor's music so infectious. Studebaker John was deeply influenced by the music he heard as a young man growing up near Maxwell Street and he has crafted a solid and well thought out album that echoes the music of his youth. Fans of straight ahead Chicago blues will enjoy the music that the band creates. That's the Way You Do -

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