Tas Cru review…December 3, 2016…

TAS CRU

SIMMERED AND STEWED

VIZZTONE  VTCT-1603

DAT MAYBE–GRIZZLE ‘N BONE–FEEL I’M FALLING–TIME AND TIME–ROAD TO MY OBSESSION–BISCUIT–COVER MY LOVE–WOMAN WON’T YOU LOVE ME–JUST LET IT HAPPEN–TIRED OF BLUESMEN CRYIN’–HIGHER AND HIGHER

The clever and unique way Tas Cru has with a lyric is well-known and enjoyed by fans all over the globe.  His last album, “You Keep The Money,” from 2015, stayed at or near the top of all the major charts for virtually the entire year.  His latest is entitled “Simmered And Stewed,” on the Vizztone/Crustee Tees label.  The success of his previous album led to this one, in a roundabout way.  Tas has always envisioned some of the songs from his prior albums with different arrangements, backing vocals, and, in some cases, a total re-tooling.  The eleven songs on this album are a return for Tas to a more acoustic sound, with Tas on all guitars, including Resonator and cigar box guitars, and backed by a brilliant host of players that make this one delicious blues stew!

Leading off is a rousing tune that finds Tas telling a lover, “don’t gimme Dat Maybe when your heart says no!”  A heavy dose of honky-tonk piano from Chip Lamson and harp from Dick Earl Ericksen adds to the tale of a lover down on his luck, going from “biscuits and gravy” to “Grizzle “N Bone!”  Tas strikes a mellow chord with the poignant story of a long-departed lover who comes to him only in his dreams, “Time And Time,” and closes the set with a heartfelt read of Jackie Wilson’s  “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher.”  He documents his life as a bluesman as he travels the “Road To My Obsession,” vowing to “play them blues, anytime, and most anywhere!”

We had two favorites.  “Feel I’m Falling” rises up out of the Hill Country mists, with Tas calling out to the Lord to pull him from a “life of misery.”  It’s  a slide-heavy plea for redemption, sho’ nuff.  And, “Tired Of Bluesmen Cryin” takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the various cliches’ that permeate this wonderful genre,’ including “breaking up a happy home” and “just ’cause my woman is gone!”

Tas Cru has had the idea idea for re-working these songs for “Simmered And Stewed” in the back of his  mind for quite some time.  And, just like a great food dish, taking the time to do ’em up right makes it all worthwhile!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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