Sammy Eubanks review…June 18, 2016…

SAMMY EUBANKS

SUGAR ME

UNDERWORLD RECORDS  UND 0026

IT’S ALL BLUES TO ME–STOP THAT GRINNIN’–BLUES ALL MORNIN–I JUST WANNA MAKE LOVE TO YOU–MY BABY’S GONE–SUGAR ME–NO EXCUSE FOR THE BLUES–BORN TO LOVE YOU–IT’S MY LIFE BABY–I’M GONNA LEAVE YOU

Sammy Eubanks was born in California, spent some time in Idaho and in Spokane, WA, before finally moving here to Music City to record his latest set, “Sugar Me,” for Tim “Too Slim” and Nancy Langford’s (themselves transplanted Northwesterners!) Underworld Records.  With one foot in the blues and the other in untry, Sammy fits right in here in Nashville, and you can feel it in these grooves.  He has a tremendous group of backing players, as well.  Along with Sammy, who’s on guitar and vocals, there’s Darren Theriault on bass, Chris Kimmerer on drums, Bob Britt and Matt Hauer on guitars, and the iconic Reese Wynans on keys, with Scott Saunders on keys on “My Baby’s Gone.”

The party starts with the autobiographical Southern soul of “It’s All Blues To Me,” as Sammy recounts growing up in a house filled with B. B., Elvis, Jerry Lee, and Brother Ray.  “I Just Wanna Make Love To You” is stripped-down into a Hill-Country stomper, with slide guitar ridin’ this one all the way to Clarksdale and back!  Reese’s honky-tonk piano adds that down-home feel to the tale of a man who’s got “No Excuse For The Blues,” while “Born To Love You” takes that vibe a step further, and is sure to please his country fans.

Sammy gets plumb down’n’dirty on the Bobby “Blue” Bland soul classic, It’s My Life, Baby,” recorded here in tribute to his friend, the late Nick Curran.  Reese gets in some more of that lowdown piano, too!  Sammy closes with an original, a true break-up song if ever there was one.  “I’m Gonna Leave You if you don’t come back” has a cool, vintage-Stones vibe.

Our favorite was easy.  That unmistakable Elmore James opening slide riff drives Sammy’s raucous  take on Skeeter Brandon and Highway 61’s “Stop That Grinnin’ and drop some linen, and let’s get it on!”  The subject matter and the dual guitars give this one a genuine Southern-fried boogie rush!

Sammy Eubanks is a great fit for Music City.  Killer vocal and guitar chops, plus his ability to interpret several styles with ease make him a valuable commodity, and “Sugar Me” is the icing on the cake!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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