Al Basile review…August 16, 2016….

AL BASILE

MID-CENTURY MODERN

SWEETSPOT RECORDS  SST 9752

KEEP YOUR LOVE, WHERE’S MY MONEY?–LIKE YOU OR DESPISE YOU–MIDNIGHT BLUE PERSUASION–TICKLE MY MULE–I’VE GOT TO HAVE MEAT (WITH EVERY MEAL)–LIKE A WOMAN, LIKE A MAN–BLANK DOG–CARRY THESE BLUES–NO TRUTH TO THE RUMOR–LISTEN TO THE ELDERS–NIGHT CROSSING–BIG TREES FALLING–LIE UNDER THE HOUSE WITH ME

There are probably very few, if any, readers of this humble forum who have never had the urge to reminisce about “the good ole days” when we were all younger and looked at things in a different perspective.  Al Basile, the man known as “The Bard Of The Blues,” has done just that on his latest set for Sweetspot Records, “Mid-Century Modern.”   A founding member of Roomful Of Blues, Al wrote this batch of songs after thinking about all the classic R & B-flavored blues his old group was famous for playing.  As such, several of those players are also along for the ride, including Rich Lataille and Doug James on saxes, Bruce Bears on keys, Mark Teixeira on drums,  and Monster Mike Welch on guitar, along with the venerable Duke Robillard on guitar for two cuts.

A classic love story is the suave tale of a late-night encounter just for two who are about to embark on a little “Midnight Blue Persuasion.”  At the other end of that love spectrum, sort of, is that, if there’s no spark to start with, “there’ll be no ridin’ unless you Tickle My Mule!”  This one features some fine piano from Bruce, too.

Health concerns be damned in another sweet  shot of vintage Roomful-flavored jump-blues, as Al makes it plain that “I’ve Got To Have Meat With Every Meal!”  The Little Milton-inspired vocal of “Like A Woman, Like A Man” features a fine solo from the Duke, who solos again on the set-closer, a clever coming-of-age tale of youthful innocence, “Lie Under The House With Me!”

Our favorite was easy.  Following that loping, Otis-and-Carla groove, “Like You Or Despise You” is a lesson in how some folks are really adept at hiding their true feelings.

No wonder Al Basile is an award-winning poet.  He wrote these songs over just fourteen days last September.  They capture and convey the true spirit of vintage R & B and that wonderful Roomful sound, making “Mid-Century Modern” a must-hear for all blues fans!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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