The Knickerbocker All-Stars review…November 16, 2015….

THE KNICKERBOCKER ALL-STARS

GO BACK HOME TO THE BLUES

JP CADILLAC RECORDS  JPS 1002

36-22-36–YOU KNOW THAT YOU LOVE ME–CADILLAC BABY–BRAND NEW FOOL–SOMETHING TO REMEMBER YOU BY–TAKE IT LIKE A MAN–HOKIN’–DON’T YOU EVER GET TIRED OF BEING RIGHT–HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE–GO BACK HOME TO THE BLUES–BLOCKBUSTER BOOGIE–ANNIE GET YOUR THING ON–I TRIED

The Knickerbocker Club was built just after Prohibition.  It’s where Duke Robillard founded Roomful Of Blues, and nowadays, it’s a non-profit center for the preservation and continuance of that horn-driven, jump blues that Roomful popularized.  For the follow-up to “Open Mic At The Knick,” the players who helped define that sound have just released “Go Back Home To The Blues,” thirteen cuts of hard-rockin’ blues that mix cool covers with originals written within  that jump-blues style.  Many of the original Roomful players are in the horn section herein, and Monster Mike Welch is on guitar, with Al Copley  on keys.  The vocals are handled by Sugar Ray Norcia, Willie J. Laws, Brian Templeton, and Al Basile.

The show starts with Sugar Ray on vocal in a cool call-and-response shout-out to his well-endowed lover, “36-22-36.”  Brian Templeton swings on the tale of that “hydramatic Cadillac Baby,” and comes back a bit later to tell us that, “when you’re down, Go Back Home To The Blues.”  Al Basile adds one of his tunes from his latest album,”B’s Expression,” (reviewed elsewhere in this forum), the tale of his somewhat-overbearing lover, to whom he asks, “Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right?”  Willie J. Laws gives it up and turns it-a-loose on the groovy stop-time “He Was A Friend Of Mine,” then closes the set with the fast-paced, Larry Davis-penned, “I Tried to treat you right.”

We had two favorites, too.  Willie J. Laws does the vocal, and Monster Mike handles the plaintive, pleading guitar licks on the classic good-bye song, “Please give me Something To Remember You By.”  Sugar Ray is on vocal on a song we recalled from one of Roomful’s early vinyl LP’s, the jumpin’ Chick Willis cut, “Take It Like A Man.”

“Go Back Home To The Blues” from the Knickerbocker All-Stars plays out just like one of those R & B “package” shows from back in the day.  Great vocalists working with excellent material, and a backing band that has defined the sound of a generation, make this one a set not to miss!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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