The Hitman Blues Band review…March 8, 2013…

THE HITMAN BLUES BAND

BLUES ENOUGH

NERUS RECORDS  NR4490

BLUES ENOUGH–SAM THE BLUZMAN–FISHING WHERE THE FISH ARE–BACKHAND DRIVE–EVERY PIECE OF ME–EVERYTHING YOU DO–STREETS OF DOWNTOWN–LIFE’S TOO SHORT–BETTER CLASS OF BUMS–DEAF, DUMB, AND BLIND–TOUGH STREET

 

The Hitman Blues Band have successfully toured Europe and the UK five times, and have had two prior releases vying for Grammy nominations.  For their latest set for Nerus Records, “Blues Enough,”ethey have incorporated a smokin’ horn section, and employ Neil Alexander on harp on several cuts.  “Blues Enough” features eleven originals, all written by guitarist/vocalist Russell “Hitman” Alexander, and, with that punchy horn and rhythm section over the Hitman’s snaky lead and slide work, these songs are guaranteed to have you lacin’ up your dancin’ shoes!

 

The set kicks off with the rockin’ call-and-response of “Is that Blues Enough for ya,?” then swings into a smooth tribute to longtime friend and mentor, the late Sam Taylor, entitled “Sam The Bluzman.”  A great ballad, reminiscent of “I’d Rather Go Blind,” has the Hitman lamenting “It’s not just my heart that’s broken, it’s Every Piece Of Me.”  And, if you’re down on your luck, just follow the band’s rhumba groove and go “Fishin’ Where The Fish Are.”  “Backhand Drive” is a solid slab of funk that’s full of slide-driven double-entendres’, while Hitman turns his slide loose in all its fury on the set-closing “Tough Street.”

 

We had two favorites, too.  The band follows that shave-and-a-haircut Diddley beat and Neil’s harp on the cute tale that proves that, as lovers go, opposites do indeed attract, entitled “Life’s Too Short.”  And, perhaps the most powerful cut on the album is the somber, poignant “Streets Of Downtown,” which takes a long, hard look at the plight of society’s homeless.

 

With their new and improved lineup, The Hitman Blues Band have reached new heights, and, with “Blues Enough,” have hit upon their strongest and most entertaining set to date!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

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