VICTOR WAINWRIGHT AND THE WILDROOTS
BLIND PIG CD BPCD 5164
BOOM TOWN–SATURDAY NIGHT SUNDAY MORNING–STOP BOSSIN ME BABY–IF IT AIN’T GOT SOUL, PT. 1–WHEN THE DAY IS DONE–GENUINE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY–TWO LANE BLACKTOP REVISITED–WILDROOT FARM–PIANA’S SAVANNAH BOOGIE–THE DEVIL’S BITE–REAPER’S ON THE PROWL–BACK ON TOP–WILDROOT RAMBLE
Everyone knows the story of Robert Johnson, the Crossroads, the devil, and the deal that went down. That pull on a man’s soul between good and evil, sin and salvation, is a constant, and, on his latest album, “Boom Town,” piano master Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots touch on this subject freely over the course of thirteen originals.
Victor is a major talent on the ‘elephant’s teeth,” winning the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014 at the BMA’s. Joining him on this set are Hall and Oates alumni Stephen Dees on bass and Charlie DeChant on sax, with Billy Dean on drums, and several special guests throughout.
Victor is a raucous piano rocker with a surprisingly soulful voice. This party gets started with the foot-stompin’ beat of “Boom Town,” with a “hoodoo in my step to rock all night long!” The tale of an overbearing lover comes at ya right out of the Little Richard canon, a frenzied-paced stop-time rocker called “Stop Bossin’ Me Baby,” with Nick Black on duet vocal.
“Genuine Southern Hospitality” and “WildRoot Farm” follow a lazy, laid-back groove, and both extoll the virtues of everything good about Southern living, the latter with duet vocals from Patricia Ann Dees. Victor busts out two monster instrumentals, too–“Piana’s Savannah Boogie,” and the eclectic, set-closing, “WildRoot Rumble.”
We had two favorites, too, from both sides of the pulpit. First up is another furious rocker reminding us to “heed the warning” of the preacher, because “after Saturday Night comes Sunday Morning!” And, one of the most powerful pieces on the set is the deep gospel roots of the sparsely-arranged testifyin’ of “goin’ dow to the river” to get your soul “Ready When The Day Is Done.”
Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots just keep on getting better with each outing. Excellent musicianship and topnotch material are always on tap down at “Boom Town!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.