MonkeyJunk review…December 5, 2016…

MONKEYJUNK

TIME TO ROLL

STONY PLAIN RECORDS SPCD 1394

BEST KEPT SECRET–TIME TO ROLL–SEE THE SIGN–BLUE LIGHTS GO DOWN–PRAY FOR RAIN–THE HUNTER–CAN’T CALL YOU BABY–UNDERTAKER BLUES–GONE–FUZZY POODLE

For their latest album, “Time To Roll,” Ottawa-based power trio MonkeyJunk added a bass for the first time in their history.  Tony D remains on guitar and Matt Sobb on drums, while vocalist/harpoon man/guitarist Steve Marriner adds the bass parts.

There are nine originals and one mighty cool cover herein.  They lead off with a tune that sounds as if it was born down at the Crossroads, behind the brooding beat, hoodoo harp, and hellhound-slide of  “Best Kept Secret.”  They revisit that swampy groove on the percussion-heavy rhumba beat of “Blue Lights Go Down,” while the fellows pay a nice tribute to classic soul with the ode to a love affair losing ground fast, as Steve sings, “I Can’t Call You Baby forever,” with strong backing vocals from Kelly Prescott.  The roadhouse boogie of “Gone” details a man who’s had all he can take and then some, and is pure joy, while Steve “gets you in the sight if his love gun” for a sweet take on Albert King’s “The Hunter.”

Our favorite marked another “first” for the band.  “Undertaker Blues” is the first all-acoustic song to appear on one of their albums.  It features stomping percussion, Steve’s harp, and a guitar part reminiscent of Lightnin’ Hopkins, as Steve sings of a “heart breakin’ down when your baby ain’t around,” and a plea for “sweet whiskey”  to “take the trouble from my mind.”

MonkeyJunk has won a Blues Music Award here in the States, as well as 20 Maple Blues Awards.  Strong sets such as “Time To Roll” give blues fans and “MonkeyJunkies” the world over  some solid grooves to really enjoy!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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