LAST JAM (OH YEAH!)–REDROVA–GOT MY BOOTS ON–KEEP ME WARM–S.F.T.A.–BIPPIDEE BOPP–KEEP IT UP–SALLY’S BLUES–FRIED PICKLE PARTY–SLIDIN BUTT–TELL ME (WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND)–TOO DAMN LONG
The Balkun Brothers hail from Hartford, Connecticut. Steve plays guitars and is on vocals, and brother Nick is on drums and vocals. Add in bass man Caleb Battersby, and they are a formidable power trio, indeed. They have won numerous awards in the northeast, and have been finalists in the IBC’s. Their latest set, “ReDrova,” takes old-school blues and turns it upside-down and rockets it head-first into the 21ST Century. Twelve cuts of intense, raw, futuristic blues-rock is the content herein, and listeners can feel the influences of Muddy, Jimi, and, even Cream.
They kick out the jams with “Last Jam (Oh Yeah!), and it has a great, grungy, Hendrix feel to it. A spaced-out intro gives way to some serious Delta-fied slide from Steve in the title cut, and he keeps that slide smokin’ with the Hill Country stomper, “Got My Boots On.” Nick’s percussion drives another slide-driven rocker, “S. F. T. A.,” with Caleb on the big baritone horn. “Sally’s Blues” is a love gone sour slow-blues, and the instrumental “Fried Pickle Party” is, sadly, too short. But, “Slidin Butt” makes up for it, with a thumping opening that slows slightly at the bridge before rockin’ right over the cliff for a climax. The set closes with a miss-my-baby ode after being on the road just “Too Damn Long.” Steve’s guitar and Nick’s percussion drive this one home, hard and fast.
Our favorite was easy. Steve conjures up the ghost of Elmore James with “Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind). He kicks his slide into high gear on this clever shuffle, finishing with some great staccato flourishes of fretwork, too!
The Balkun Brothers have a firm grasp on their blues history, and they do a fantastic job taking those classic sounds and updating them for today’s contemporary arena. “ReDrova” is destined to bring them even more accolades!! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.