THE BEAUTIFUL LOWDOWN
HARD TO FEEL THE SAME ABOUT LOVE–LOW DOWN DIRTY SHAME–I KNOW A GOOD THING–WALK A MILE IN MY BLUES–HEALING LOVE–NOTHING IN PARTICULAR (LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING)–SIMPLE ENOUGH–I’M NOT MADE THAT WAY–IS THERE SOMETHING I SHOULD KNOW–MY GIRLFRIEND–RING TELEPHONE RING–HOOK ME UP
It’s a sho’ nuff natch’l fact that, waaaaay back in 1977, when John Belushi was filming “Animal House,” he caught one of Curtis Salgado’s live shows in Eugene, Oregon. They became fast friends, and Curtis mentored John into becoming a bluesman. As such, the characters of Joliet Jake Blues and his harp-blowing brother Elwood were borne. In a lasting tribute, Cab Calloway’s character was named Curtis in the original “Blues Brothers” film. Well, here it is 2016, and Curtis Salgado is still hittin’ on all 8, forty years further on up the road. His latest set for Alligator Records, “The Beautiful Lowdown,” has twelve cuts, all save for Johnny Watson’s “Hook Me Up” written or co-written by Curtis. He successfully blends classic soul with deep blues on this set, with a blow-you-away vocal style, and a couple of unique-sounding cuts to spice things up.
The set starts with a song reminiscent of vintage Motown, as Curtis recounts a tale of first love, and, ultimately, first heartbreak, “Hard To Feel The Same About Love after you!” “I Know A Good Thing” features some sweet slide guitar, giving this cut a Delta feel, while a tale about “livin’ for the gold” and its consequences has a gospel punch, “I’m Not Made That Way.” “My Girlfriend” is a strong shot of funk with a horn-fueled groove, and Curtis hits an uptown, Chicago-styled vibe on “Ring Telephone Ring.”
Our favorite was a soulful duet. Danielle Nicole Schnebelen and Curtis are the beleaguered and suspicion-filled lovers each of whom wonder aloud, “Is There Something I Should Know” about the other. This one is a powerful example of classic Stax/Hi-era soul.
Curtis Salgado has been delivering hi-octane blues and R & B for over forty years, and he’s a three-time winner of the Blues Award for Soul?Blues Artist Of The Year. He sings ’em from the soul, and “The Beautiful Lowdown” is as good as it gets! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.