Hot Roux review…July 15, 2015…

HOT ROUX

STRANGER’S BLUES

HI HAT RECORDS AND ENTERTAINMENT   HHE 3406

BROKEN AGAIN–STRANGER’S BLUES–WOMAN WHERE YOU BEEN–SEVEN LONELY NIGHTS–BIG MAMA’S–TICK TOCK–ANNA LEE–RED PEPPER BABY–CAN’T GET YOU OFF MY MIND–ANOTHER SEVEN LONELY NIGHTS

Hot Roux bandleader Jerry McWorter is one of those great “singing drummers” in the vein of Sam Lay and Levon Helm.  He and bassist Brent Harding wrote the original cuts on their latest CD, “Stranger’s Blues.”  Carving out a niche for themselves in Southern California, they have backed Kenny Neal, Kim Wilson, Albert Lee, and a host of others.

For this set, the duo enlist the guitar talents of Tommy Harkenrider, Ed Berghoff, Pat McClure, and Franck “Paris Slim” Goldwasser, he of Mannish Boys fame.  Over the course of these ten cuts, there is some mighty fine blues-roots music, and we heard a definite Dave and Phil Alvin influence.

The set leads off with Jerry asking his lover “will one man ever be enough for you,” in “don’t want my heart Broken Again.”  The title cut has a Saturday afternoon B-movie feel with Franck on tremelo guitar and Jerry’s echo-effect vocals that lament a man marked as a “stranger here,” with “everybody starin’me down.”

Jerry brings that Excello-fied swampy funk to the story of “Big Mama’s,” who is “five feet tall, loved by many and feared by all!”  “Anna Lee” has a Levon Helm vibe throughout, while “Red Pepper Baby,” who “heats me right up,” is a rhumba romp all the way thru.

We had three favorites, too.  Jason Huffman blows some mean harp on “Woman Where You Been,” with that sweet Blasters feel.  “Seven Lonely Nights” lays bare the story of a man whose lover has “packed her bags and went away,” and he’s rapidly “workin’ on number eight!”  This version is done as a loping, Jimmy Reed groove, with a killer slide solo from Franck.  The set closes with “Another Seven Lonely Nights,” with the same lyrics, but done up in a lively, Mardi Gras party groove.

Jerry McWorter and Hot Roux, with “Stranger’s Blues,” had only one drawback, but one that can easily be fixed—it was just too darn good to be so darn short!  Good rockin’ blues from a fine cast of players for sure, we encourage all fans to get ya a little taste of a good, Hot Roux!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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