BACKTRACK BLUES BAND
WAY BACK HOME
GOIN’ TO ELEUTHERA–TELL YOUR DADDY–SHOOT MY ROOSTER–YOUR FUNERAL, MY TRIAL–CHECKIN’ ON MY BABY–NOBODY BUT YOU–HEAVY BUILT WOMAN–BABY, PLEASE DON’T GO–RICH MAN BLUES–HELP ME JUST THIS TIME
The Backtrack Blues Band hail from the Tampa Bay area, and they’ve been together since 1980. Led by the powerhouse vocals and harp of Sonny Charles and the Texas-styled guitar leads of Kid Royal, they have just released their fifth CD, “Way Back Home,” on Harpo Records. Along with the aforementioned players, there’s Little Johnny Walter on rhythm guitar, Joe Bencomo on drums, Stick Davis on bass, and special guest and BMA-winner Victor Wainwright all over the keys!
They took their name from Little Walter’s classic Chess instrumental, “Back Track,” and this is some powerful stuff, indeed. The band lays down a groove like vintage Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Sonny’s harp/vocal style might remind some of Fingers Taylor. They don’t waste any time setting the tone for the rest of the album, leading off with a rocked-up story about that island paradise down Bahama way, “Goin’ To Eleuthera,” and everybody gets to jam on this one. “Tell Your Daddy” rocks with an Excello roll, while “Heavy Built Woman” has cool call-and-response adding to the story that, “once you’ve loved one, you’ll never be the same!” Kid’s guitar sparkles with jazzy swing lines reminiscent of Duke Robillard on this one, too! More call-and-response from Sonny and Kid capture the soul and spirit of Big Joe Williams’ “Baby Please Don’t Go,” while the loping lead of “Rich Man Blues” tells an all-true tale of “when one man takes it all, ain’t nothin’ left for you and me!”
Our favorite was another song with a vintage Chess vibe. “Nobody But You can make my life complete” has a Little Walter swing aided by Victor’s piano work alongside the soloists.
Longevity in the blues business is a rare thing, so you know the Backtrack Blues Band have been doing something right over the last thirty-six years. They pack dance floors everywhere they play with an infectious groove, and “Way Back Home” gives the fans just what they want! Until next time..Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.