WEST COAST TOAST
DELTA GROOVE MUSIC DGPCD 174
EAST OF 82ND STREET–TOO MANY COOKS–YOUNG GIRL–THE PETROLEUM BLUES–MOOD INDICA–DON’T STAY OUT ALL NIGHT–MY LI’L STUMPTOWN SHACK–MAKIN BACON–ALCOHOL BLUES–LOVE GROWS COLD–CANOODLIN
The “West Coast” blues sound might best be described as a swingin’, jumped-up hybrid of Chicago blues, popularized by players such as George “Harmonica” Smith and T-Bone Walker. The “new” generation of those players include Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, San Pedro Slim and Mitch Kashmar. Mitch has just released his latest set for Delta Groove, “West Coast Toast.” Along with Mitch on vocals and all harps, he has an All-Star backing core of sidemen behind him. You got Junior Watson on guitar, Fred Kaplan on keys, Bill Stuve on the doghouse bass, and Marty Dodson on drums.
This one features cool covers interspersed with Mitch’s own uniquely-clever way with an original blues tune. He bolts outta the gate strong, with a killer instrumental, “East Of 82ND Street.” The band sets up a tight groove behind Mitch’s vocal on “Young Girl,” with cool organ from Fred. They all get their “swing” on with Mitch givin’ a mighty soulful read of Billy Boy Arnold’s “Don’t Want No Woman who likes to stay out all night long!” He gets into a vintage Chess mode on the sparsely-arranged “My Little Stumptown Shack,” and pays tribute to another West Coast legend, Lowell Fulson, on the rhumba-rockin’ “Love Grows Cold.”
We had two favorites, too, one original and one cover. Whisky and wimmin’ don’t necessarily mix on Mitch’s down-home-styled cover of John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson’s “Alcohol Blues,” while his original tells it like it is–“the price goes up, the price goes down,” but we all got them “Petroleum Blues!” It flat-out rocks from the git-go!
Mitch Kashmar and “West Coast Toast” continues to carry on the strong tradition of jazzy, jumpin’ harp players, all on a mission to keep the beat groovin’ and your feet movin’! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.