Single review for “Next Level”….August 12, 2014….



Back in 2004, as a part of Martin Scorsese’s documentary, “The Blues—A Musical Journey,” one of the installments was entitled “Godfathers And Sons,” which showed how the rap and hip-hop community had been influenced by the great bluesmen of the past.  The major players on that program were Chuck D, Questlove? and Common.  Expanding on that theme are the three men who bring us the blues to the “Next Level.”  They are harp blaster Sugar Blue, (who’s always been one of our favorite players), Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, of  RUN-DMC fame, and Sonix–The Mad Scientist, who adds skillful production and musicianship on this ground-breaking collaboration.

The jam starts with Blue singing and blowing harp over that unmistakable “Hoochie Coochie Man” riff, later giving way to DMC’s swagger-filled rap, all set over Sonix’s killer beats.  Frankly, we are surprisd that ten years have passed since this idea was presented to the public without being attempted before now.  After all, this is a natural progression, with the blues being taken to the “Next Level” by the talents of these three men.

Blues purists may dismiss this, but Willie Dixon said it best—“The blues is the roots–all the rest is the fruits!”   We urge fans to give this one a chance, and enjoy a cool combination of today’s top talents!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow


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