Paxton Norris review…10-23-1

PAXTON NORRIS

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE

INDEPENDENT  PN 2011

SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE–LIVING TIGHT–BABY-GIRL–HEAR SAY–GOING TO PENSACOLA–LOVE LIGHT–THESE FUNKING BLUES–THAT WOMAN’S TROUBLE–MY CREDIT DIDN’T GO THROUGH–YOU’RE MY GIRL–IT’S ALRIGHT–HARD LUCK CASE–WHAT YOU TALKING ABOUT WILLIS

 

 

Now based in Indy, Paxton Norris cut his teeth in the blues clubs in Michigan in the Nineties, playing 250 nights a year to a predominantly blue-collar GM crowd.  He is a dazzling guitarist with a soulful vocal delivery who cites not only bluesmen such as the three Kings and SRV as influences, but rockers like Seger as well.  You can hear a lot of his heroes in his guitar-driven debut, “Something’s Gotta Give,” which is thirteen cuts of solid blues and blues-rock for the working man.  The majority of the cuts were penned by Paxton and Josh Ford, and deal with issues that everyone can relate to, such as good love gone bad, plain hard luck, and the sorry state of the economy.  Through it all, Paxton’s guitar leads the charge.

 

The funk hits the fan on the leadoff title cut, where we find Paxton “workin’ eighty hours a week and still can’t afford to eat!”  This one has a stinging, Albert Collins feel to it, and the fellows all lay down a sweet groove behind it.

 

When love turns sour, Paxton finds out the hard way that nothing’s the same without that auburn-haired “Baby Girl.”  Working all day and playing all nite takes its toll, too, and the result is that “These Funking Blues is killing me!”  This one features a cool extended solo at the bridge.  And, the set closes with a real hoot of an instrumental entitled “What You Talkin’ About, Willis?”, and is interspersed with snippets of Gary Coleman repeating this iconic line.

 

We had two favorites, too.  A ZZ Top groove rides the roadhouse rock of  “Goin’ To Pensacola” as a welcome respite from the constant travels of a bluesman.  And, a funky backbeat eases the pain of the hard-times tale of “My Credit Didn’t Go Through.”

 

Paxton Norris has paid some serious dues working the clubs in the upper Midwest during this tough economy.  But, he is a solid performer who makes fans forget about their troubles for a while, and “Something’s Gotta Give” is a sweet listen!   Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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