Boy Wells review 11-27-11

BOY WELLS

BLUE SKIES CALLING

MARCEL MARSUPIAL PUBLISHING  MMP15

MR COLUZZI–WORLD WEARY AND BLUE–BRING IT BACK–MARCEL MARSUPIAL–BLUE SKIES CALLING–LOVE IN VAIN–BROKE DOWN–MON ANGEL–TOVA–DEVIL’S BACKBONE BLUES–TIN WINTER–TRAVELLER

 

Boy Wells, whose real name is Mark Schultz,  grew up in the southern Maryland area that was also the home to Danny Gatton.  Wells took up guitar after hearing Duane Allman on “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed,” and he and Gatton soon became friends.  Gatton taught Wells not only on the guitar, but gave him valuable advice early on in his musical career.  On his debut, “Blue Skies Calling,” Wells handles all the guitar, vocals, and writing details.  These twelve originals travel all over the musical landscape, as Wells ventures into Southern boogie, blues, jazz, and even some bluegrass.

 

A ringing slide and harp from Jimi Lee are the trademarks of the Southern-fried “World Weary And Blue,” while the title cut uses violin from Richie Simpkins over Wells’ soulful vocals in the story of a man who’s “had my fill of all this urban sprawlin,” and is built around a decidedly Allman-ish arrangement.  There are several outstanding instrumentals, too.  Funky guitar lines and a hot horn section in “Mr. Coluzzi” might make you think you are standing at the front door of 926 E. McLemore down in Memphis, while “Tova,” “Tin Winter,” and the set-closing “Traveller” all use banjo and fiddle intertwined with Wells’ guitar, and all of ’em would be right at home on the Loveless stage any Wednesday night for the “Music City Roots” series.

 

Our favorites were easy choices, too.  The brooding, dark arrangement of “Love In Vain” conjures up the ghosts of Mike Hammer and Peteer Gunn in the film-noir-ish tale of a dancer who “missed her curtain call,” and you “won’t find her name in lights, but try the nearest wall.”  And, there is some CD-ROM footage included of an hour-long guitar lesson between Wells and Danny Gatton in Danny’s living room,  which is priceless.

 

“Blue Skies Calling” is one of the most interesting albums we’ve had the pleasure to hear in quite some time.  Boy wells has incredible guitar skills, and his eclectic choice of tunes and genres’ makes this one a well-done and well-crafted set, indeed!!   Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

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