Brandon Santini review…March 3, 2015…

BRANDON SANTINI

LIVE AND EXTENDED

VIZZTONE VTOLM 005

ONE MORE MILE–THIS TIME ANOTHER YEAR–ELEVATE ME MAMA–EVIL WOMAN–HAVE A GOOD TIME–HELP ME WITH THE BLUES–GOT LOVE IF YOU WANT IT–NO MATTER WHAT I DO–WHAT YOU DOING TO ME–MY BACKSCRATCHER–I WANNA BOOGIE WITH YOU–COME ON EVERYBODY

Brandon Santini moved from North Carolina to Memphis in 2003 and quickly gained a strong foothold in the Beale Street scene.  Since then, he and his blazing harp have received a Blues Music Award nomination for Best New Artist in 2009, and another nomination in 2014 in two categories–Instrumentalist-Harp and Contemporary Blues Album.  For his latest release, he journeyed to the prestigious Festival D’ ete’ de Quebec in Canada and recorded “Live And Extended,” twelve cuts of originals and covers that showed the Canadian audience just what this young man is all about.

They were an enthusiastic bunch, too, something which Brandon and the band–Timo Arthur on guitar, Nick Hern on bass, and Chad Wirl on drums–all fed off of during the night.  He jumpstarts the party with a killer take on Muddy and Cotton’s “One More Mile,” while on “Evil Woman,” Brandon and Tim trade off some hot solos as the crowd exhorts its appreciation.

“Have A Good Time” follows a freight-train beat as Brandon sings that you really “don’t need no money and don’t need no clothes to let those good times roll!”  Timo gets in some fine Berry-fied pickin’ on this one, too.  Brandon rocks hard on another original, “No Matter What I Do, I can’t get along with you,” and then gets everybody amped up with the funky, staccato backbeat of “My Backscratcher.”

He turns his harp loose for hot, extended soloing on “I Wanna Boogie With You” and gets the crowd fired up for the set-closer, an original titled “Come On Everybody.”

All these cuts are strong, but we had one favorite.  We couldn’t get enough of Brandon’s slow-burnin’ take on Sonny Boy’s “Elevate Me Mama, ’bout five or six floors on down!”

Brandon Santini continues to be one of the most impressive young harpslingers on the contemporary scene.  “Live And Extended” puts you front-row-center for a set that’s not to be missed!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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