Bob Margolin review…January 7, 2016…

BOB MARGOLIN

MY ROAD

STEADY ROLLIN’/VIZZTONE VT-SRR 002

MY WHOLE LIFE–MORE AND MORE–I SHALL PREVAIL–GOODNIGHT–UNDERSTANDING HEART–LOW LIFE BLUES–BYE BYE BABY–YOUNG AND OLD BLUES–ASK ME NO QUESTIONS–FEELIN’ RIGHT TONIGHT–DEVIL’S DAUGHTER–HEAVEN MISSISSIPPI

We’ve been friends with steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin for several years now.  He was Muddy’s rhythm man during the mid-Seventies, and is featured on all those classic Blue Sky albums with Johnny Winter.  Since Muddy’s passing in 1983, Bob has carved out a very successful career as a bandleader in his own right.  A founding partner of Vizztone Records, his latest set is entitled “My Road,” and it’s a trip thru his musical roots that includes some interesting songs and arrangements that take a turn from his previous outings.

He’s joined by Tad Walters on harp and vocals, and Chuck Cotton on drums and vocals.  Bob goes into full-on “crooner” mode 0n the romantic love story that is his original, “More And More, our love has grown so strong.”  He and Chuck break down Nappy Brown’s “Bye Bye Baby” into its core elements, turning it into a doo-wop, street corner serenade, backed only by Tad’s harp.

There’s plenty of red-hot blues, too.  Check out the shufflin’ boogie of “I’m Feelin’ Right tonight,” and the deep tone of giving in to one’s vices and weaknesses, “dancing with the Devil’s Daughter.”

Bob always mixes in a bit of humor into his blues, too.  Check out the leadoff cut, which serves as a good autobiography of his fifty years on the bandstand.  Whether playing for six or six thousand, he realizes that “My Whole Life led up to this!  It also features that tricky, dead-stop ending, much like Muddy’s “She’s So Pretty.”  Another one of Bob’s originals takes a look at aging and one’s perception of it.  “Young And Old Blues” teaches us a jumpin’ lesson–“it depends on which side you look from, and the truth can sure be cold!”

Our favorite closed the set.  The residents of “Heaven Mississippi” are the spirits of all the greats, who come to Bob in a dream.  His slide wails like that proverbial hellhound that accompanies “Robert Johnson and the Devil, still walkin’ side by side!”

With “My Road,” Bob Margolin lets us know how fortunate he’s been to be able to do what he loves for half a century.  For us, we’d just like to say “Thank you, Bob, for a lifetime of great blues!”  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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