Smoky Greenwell review…August 22, 2015…

SMOKY GREENWELL

NEW ORLEANS BLUES JAM

LIVE AT THE OLD U. S. MINT PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

GREENWELL RECORDS  GWR-102

SMOKE ALARM–MY OWN BLUES CLUB–PETER GUNN–POWER OF NOW–JODIE–I EARNED THE RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES–BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE–NEED A FRIEND–LOVES GONE–LEROY’S SHUFFLE–BACK TO THE BOOGIE

The name Smoky Greenwell is synonymous with good-time blues in New Orleans.  He’s been a member of War, as well as Blues Co-Op, with Warren Haynes.  He recently got together with some of his good friends down at the Old U. S. Mint Performing Arts Center to release his tenth CD, (and companion DVD), “New Orleans Blues Jam”.

Smoky’s been singing, blowin’ sax and harp, and writing some of the coolest songs around since the Seventies.  This set takes a good look at some of his most popular material, done up nicely in this intimate setting.  He starts the party with one of three fine instrumentals, a rockin’ harp romp entitled “Smoke Alarm.” and closes on a similar note, with that “endless chooglin” of “Back To The Boogie,” done up John Lee Hooker style.  And, Smoky simply blows the hell outta some “Peter Gunn” on the tenor sax!

He’s been a club owner in the Big Easy, too, and that part of his life is documented in the bittersweet slow-blues of “My Own Blues Club.”  Sadly, when Katrina rolled thru ten years ago, “we sold the club at a loss, and now when I play there, the new owner is my boss!”  The jazzy swing of “Power Of Now” reminds us all to stop living in the past and seize the day, and warns his lover to stay away from “Jodie” while he’s out on the road!  Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes adds a cool touch of zydeco with his vocals and accordion work on the minor-key “Loves Gone” and the dance floor-burner that is “Leroy’s Shuffle!”

Our favorite was easy.  A tongue-in-cheek look at a war “that’s based on lies” has New Orleans, U. S. A., squarely “Between Iraq And A Hard Place!”

Even tho it is roughly six months ’til Mardi Gras, there’s no harm in gettin’ an early start, is there?  Grab a copy of Smoky Greenwell’s “New Orleans Blues Jam” and commence to laissez les bon temps roulet!  Yeah you right!!  Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

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