THE BLUES: AN EVOLUTION
ELECTRO GLIDE RECORDS 196408
BIG DOG MERCER: SOME OTHER FOOL–HELPLESS–BIG DOG BLUES
BRANDON SANTINI: YOU RUINED POOR ME–WHAT CAN I DO–SHE’S SWEET LIKE HONEY
DANNY AND THE DEVILS: DON’T COME BACK THIS TIME–JEALOUSY–MAMA’S BOY
TOM HOLLAND AND THE SHUFFLE KINGS: KEEP ON PLAYIN–S. A. BLUES–ZEB’S BLUES
Dedicated to the musicians and the preservation and growth of the blues, Electro Glide Records has just released a twelve-song sampler entitled “The Blues: An Evolution,” that shows off four of their most talented artists and their various interpretations of what the blues is all about.
Illinois native Big Dog Mercer kicks things off with a gritty blues-rock kiss-off song, telling his no-good lover to find “Some Other Fool” to take his place. “Helpless” takes a look at the power of addictions, while the “Big Dog Blues” reminds his lover who the Alpha dog is!
Dan Baron fronts Danny And The Devils, and he has opened for the likes of Lonnie Brooks and Leon Russell. He is responsible for two of the most clever songs on the set. A call-and-response guitar and organ fuel Dan’s vocals about the sad plight of a friend still living with his mother, when we all know “a woman needs a man, not a Mama’s Boy!” And, a sweet mandolin mixed in with the guitars helps to tell a worthless lover to just “Don’t Come Back This Time!”
Tom Holland And The Shuffle Kings stay true to the roots of Chicago blues. The slow-blues of “Keep On Playin” has some deep slide, while the set closes with an instrumental called “Zeb’s Blues,” which one might liken to a cross between Elmore James’ “Hawaiian Boogie” and Earl Hooker’s “The Leading Brand.”
We saved Memphis native Brandon Santini for last. He is known for fronting the band Delta Highway, and we found his three offerings to be the most exciting on the set. “You Ruined Poor Me” has a funkified groove punctuated by his hot harp solo at the bridge. “She’s Sweet Like Honey” has a swampy, Excello feel, while “What Can I Do” rocks with some Berry-fied guitar over Brandon’s fiery harp and vocals.
Terry Lape, Electro Glide’s president, states his label is committed to presenting the music of life, and these four fine bands show how the similarities of the blues can be interpreted by different players in different ways. “The Blues: An Evolution” serves as an excellent introduction to this label! Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.