Brandon Santini review…December 28, 2013…

BRANDON SANTINI

THIS TIME ANOTHER YEAR

SWING SUIT RECORDS   OLM-004

GOT GOOD LOVIN–THIS TIME ANOTHER YEAR–WHAT YOU DOING TO ME–LATE IN THE EVENING–DIG ME A GRAVE–BYE BYE BIRD–THINGS YOU PUTTING DOWN–BEEN SO BLUE–COIN OPERATED WOMAN–HELP ME WITH THE BLUES–RAISE YOUR WINDOW–FISH IS BITIN

Brandon Santini was born in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, but relocated to Memphis in 2003, after forming his band, Delta Highway.  They represented Memphis in the 2006 IBC’s, and were nominated for a BMA in 2009.

The young harpblaster is back with hs second album, “This Time Another Year,” on the Swing Suit label.  Ten originals and two covers show the depth of Brandon’s talents on both chromatic and diatonic harps.  And, his backing crew is a set of genuine blues all-stars, too.  Jeff Jensen is on guitar, Bill Ruffino is on bass, James Cunningham is on drums, and Chris Stephenson is on B-3.  The mighty Victor Wainwright holds down the 88’s, and guests on a couple of cuts.

The title cut is a booming blast of harp-driven blues, playing out as Brandon’s biography of sorts, and is a killer collabo co-written by Brandon and Charlie Musselwhite.  A wishy-washy lover is the subject of “Things You Puttin’ Down,” featuring fine organ from Chris.

Brandon has a fine appreciation for the country-blues in the vein of Rice Miller.  Check out the sweet swing of “Bye Bye Bird,” “Been So Blue,’ and the set-closing acoustic band original, “Fish Is Bitin.”

We had two favorites, too.  Another shufflin’ boogie dealing with a high-maintenance girlfriend is the raucous, slide-driven “Coin Operated Woman.”  and, Victor Wainwright adds piano and duet vocals to the swaying, walkin’-blues lope of “What You Doing To Me,” detailing a trip to New Orleans via Highway 61 to “lay down our heavy load.”

It is easy to see why this has been nominated for a Blues Award, given the immense talents of Brandon Santini and the other cast of players, and the overall strength of the material .  He’s come a long way from his days of busking down on Beale, and here’s wishing him the best of luck come next May!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

 

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