LITTLE BOYS BLUE
TENNISSIPPI–LIGHTS ON–PACK IT UP BABY–IF ID’A KNOWN–35 YEARS–CHITLINS CON CARNE–DO YOU NO WRONG–SMOKE RINGS–HEALTH INSURANCE BLUES–WANNA BE YOUR LOVING MAN–BIG PIMPIN SUGAR DADDY ROMEO–JACKSON
We’ve always been partial to bands with fine harp players, and Little Boys Blue sho’ nuff have a good one fronting them. JD Taylor on harp and Steve Patterson on guitar started this band some twenty years ago in Jackson, TN, backing up Sun Records touring artists, including Carl Perkins. Their distinctive, unique brand of blues, soul, and rockabilly garnered them a third-place finish in the 1997 IBC’s, and they have just released “Tennissippi,” twelve cuts that mix all their influences, and this one takes you from Carl Perkins’ hometown down to 706 Union, and on down to the Crossroads, and everywhere in between! This one also has some sweet touches of soul, courtesy of the Alabama Horns.
Whaddaya get when you cross a “Tennessee hippie with a Tupelo girl?” Well, you get a “girl in a Volunteer mood with some Rebel pride,” the theme of the title cut, which ends up down there where “Mr. Johnson sang his song.” It rides a stompin’ groove over JD’s harp. “Lights On” and “Smoke Rings” are deep, Muscle Shoals-flavored soul (hey–part of this set was done at Fame Studios!), and the keyboard work adds a sanctifyin’ feel to the latter.
“If Id’A Known” has JD wonderin’ what coulda been in a love affair, and it has a really smooth, Jimmy Reed-ish vibe. The classic instrumental, “Chitlins Con Carne,” is done up rhumba-style, and added to the mix is a cool muted trumpet. The set closes on another instrumental note, as JD rocks us all back home to “Jackson.”
We had two favorites, too. When you get sick and get turned away from the doc’s office, you know you got them “Health Insurance Blues.” It’s all-acoustic, country-blues at its best. And, the raucous call-and-response tale of “pink Cadillacs, diamond rings” and a cheatin’ lover is told to “Pack It Up, Baby, and bring it on home to me!”
Little Boys Blue are the real deal, fans. JD and the fellows give everybody just what they want–a down-home, dern good time, and “Tennissippi” is where it’s at! Until next time..Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.