IT IS WHAT IT IS–ONE MORE DAY–WORKING MAN–BLACK HOLE–AWOL BLUES–SWEET THING–I CAN STILL PUMP–PLAIN AND SIMPLE–WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN–SUNFLOWER MISSISSIPPI
Joe Cannizzo is a fine bluesman from deep down in Florida, where, as Muddy always said, “the sun shines damn near every day!” He’s better known as JC Crossfire, a hell-fire guitarist who has just released his fourth CD, “AWOL Blues.”
JC’s guitar and vocal are as sharp as ever, and his lyrics touch on love, loss, redemption, and the continuing USA war effort. We found this to be one of his most diverse sets, due to the subject matter of the songs and the fact that some are done acoustically. He’s backed by the usual suspects, Tony Calabria on bass, Al Rich on drums, Steve Lombardelli on keys and sax, and Joe Beard on piano.
Check out the monster slab of chicken-pickin’ funk that describes JC’s life as a bluesman, where, sometimes, even the bartender won’t talk to you! It’s aptly-titled, “Working Man.” The title cut has JC working out on acoustic dobro, telling the tale of shuttin’ down “Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too,” since his lover departed, and just plain gettin’ the “AWOL Blues!”
He and another South Florida singer/songwriter, Marybeth DeSarle, do a sweet-and-soulful love ballad, “Sweet Thing,” JC closes the set with another too-cool-for-school duet with the iconic Matt “Guitar” Murphy. It serves as Matt’s first new recording in some twenty years, and is the autobiographical “Sunflower, Mississippi.”
We had two favorites, too—one humorous and one quite serious. A rhumba-fied, almost-second-line rhythm pattern drives the tale of all us fellows who may be gettin’ a little long in the tooth. Even tho we might need glasses and have a few grey hairs, we can always bring the heat in the boudoir, “I Can Still Pump!” And, “Black Hole” is a pounding, powerful acoustic tale of the trials and tribulations of American soldiers everywhere fighting for our freedom.
JC Crossfire himself puts it best—“I’ll keep playin’ these blues ’til the day I die.” “AWOL Blues” has something for everyone!! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.