44’s review….

44’S

AMERICANA

WITH SPECIAL GUEST KID RAMOS

RIP CAT RECORDS  RC 1106

HANGING TREE–LADY LUCK–COCAINE–DIXIE–SHE’S POISON–PLEADING MY CASE–MR. OPERATOR–YOU’LL BE MINE–SLIP SLIDIN THANG–99 TO LIFE–HARD TIMES–MR. HIGHWAY MAN–HOLD ON

 

Back in 2007, he 44’s burst onto the scene from their base in Southern California with “Boogie Disease,” and garnered national attention.  Now, they are poised to make an even bigger splash with “Americana,” thirteen cuts of the hi-octane blues that brings audiences to their feet everywhere they go.

 

Johnny Main is on vocal and guitar, Tex Nakamura blows the hell outta some harp, Mike Turturro is on bass, and J. B. Lozano is on drums.  Ron Dzuibla adds sax on two cuts, and the inimitable David “Kid” Ramos is not only producer, but adds guitar throughout.

 

There are songs about hard livin’, such as the leadoff “Hanging Tree,” with its chugging, roadhouse-boogie beat, and a love that’s like “Cocaine–all it takes is just one taste!”  And, there are songs about hard lovin’, too, such as “99 To Life,” and a mean mistreatin’ mama who, with just one kiss, proves “She’s Poison!”  Ron’s sax adds to the rhum-boogie beat of “Lady Luck,” while Kid Ramos’ sweet dobro on “Hard Times,” an acoustic number that takes the listener on a journey deep down into the Delta,  adds authenticity to this cut, which includes a killer harp solo from Tex at the break.

 

We had two favorites, too, at two different ends of the blues spectrum.  The first one again features Kid on slide guitar, and is the epitome’ of Chicago blues.  It’s the story of a man in love who’s always “Pleading My Case” to please his lover!  And, “Dixie” sounds like a long-lost cut from Sam Phillips’ Sun studio, with its rockin’ freight-train-to-Memphis beat and stinging lead lines.

 

These guys don’t pull any punches and sho’ nuff don’t hold anything back.  This is some of the swingin-est blues you’ll hear from any band on the planet, and we expect more big things from the 44’s with “Americana!”   Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

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