RB Stone review…June 16, 2013…




In RB Stone’s corner of the blues universe, every night’s a Saturday night, and every juke joint pours the coldest brew in town.  On his latest album, “Loosen Up!,” he takes the listener down every foot of back road and every mile of railroad track on a true blues-rock journey from an honest-to-goodness renegade spirit.


The cowboys that ride along with him aren’t bad, either.  RB is on vocal and harp, Bob Britt is on guitar, Tommy McDonald is on bass, and Jefferson Jarvis is on keys.  Drummer Tom Hambridge, who co-wrote a couple of the cuts, is also producer, and his guidance gives this one the raw, powerful feel of a Harley ready for a good, hard ride!

You want some swagger?  Take a listen to the opener, where RB tells a snooty-but-oh-so-lovable chick to”get off your High Horse and get down and get dirty with me!’  Then, check out another lover who’s full of lies, and gets told “I Ain’t Buyin’ That Bull today.”  This one might remind folks of Smokin’ Joe Kubek and B’nois King.  Too much “Jim and Jack” will get you to singin’ those “Texas Drunk Tank Blues,” while another lyin’ lover has RB “Gone As Gone Can Be.”  Both of these have Bob Britt burnin’ up the fretboard.  Every man’s dream is the girl who’s “Too Hot To Handle,’ and a man that gets a letter from his girl saying she’s “anywhere but here” has a “Bad Case Of Blues Goin’ On!”


We had two favorites that, on this album, were at the total opposite ends of the blues spectrum.  The loneliness of the long-distance trucker is the subject of the freight-train boogie of “Long Gone Lonesome Blues,” with all the fellows wailin’ like a pack of hellhounds in the frenzied climax of this one.  And, the most somber cut, perhaps of RB’s career, is the poignant “God Heals You When You Cry,” for the times in one’s life when “sorrow meets surrender.”


The only drawback to this set is the same thing that’s wrong with a lotta things in a man’s life–it’s just a wee bit on the short side.  We coulda easily enjoyed an album twice this long, because RB Stone has a way with a lyric and a lick that lets you know he’s feeling your pain or enjoying your highs right along with you.  So, “Loosen Up!” and rock on!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.




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