|From the groovin’ start of Doyle Bramhall’s BIRDNEST ON THE GROUND to the virtual tour through all styles of blues, Jimmy Vivino, of Late Night with Conan O’Brien’s band, has performed way above the call of duty to release this disc. It is only four musicians, but try to find a tighter and more stylistically aware combo and you would have to look to the Late Show with David Letterman’s band, which is where we get our drummer, Anton Fig. It’s really nice to hear these guys stretch out and do something from the heart instead of bumper music for talk shows!!!|
|Harvey Brooks, a bassist who needs no introduction, holds down the bottom of so many different grooves of blues on this CD, you would think he invented playing bass. Al Kooper, the other musician famous for just about everything cool in music rounds out the quartet on Hammond B-3 and keys in general. His list of credits is way too long to mention but he played the opening riff on Dylan’s LIKE A ROLLING STONE. His background is so varied that he also produced the first Lynyrd Skynyrd album. Here we find Al laying down some powerful keys. He also produced the record which was essential to make this all-star session sounds so good.
With a huge catalog of sources for material (this band can play anything), we are fortunate enough to get to hear some soulful versions of Elmore James’ GOT TO MOVE, Percy Mayfield’s STRANGE THINGS HAPPENIN’, LIFE IS SUICIDE, Albert King’s I GET EVIL (DON’T YOU LIE TO ME), and even Muddy Waters’ LITTLE GENEVA!
There are a few surprise guests that add just the right spice to these already stunning performances. Reese Wynans, of SRV & Double Trouble fame plays acoustic piano on one of the Percy Mayfield songs, John Sebastion does some tasty harp work on the Muddy tune and Sam Bush picks some blusey mandolin on the acoustic Elmore tune, STRANGER BLUES. Sure, there is a lot of amazing guitar work in here but the songs are really the focus and the vocals are more than adequate to make you feel the emotions flowing from Mr. Vivino. All in all, this is sure to please anyone who loves spicy food and then a tall cool one. A must have!