AND THE SCRAPPIEST BAND IN THE MOTHERLAND
FISTFUL OF GUMPTION
C’MON BROTHERS AND SISTERS–TIME FOR THE SUN TO RISE–RIDE TO GET RIGHT (TRIBUTE TO OTIS REDDING AND EARL KING)–ROLL WITH THE FLOW–MY STRIDE–BACKGROUND SINGER–THE OPPRESSOR–LEAVE A FEW WRONG NOTES–BAND WITH THE BEAUTIFUL BUS–EAST TEXAS SCRAPPER
Fifth-generation Texan Randy McAllister is a tough, no-frills blues man with a burnished, rough-hewn vocal delivery that practically oozes soul. A drummer by nature, he lays down a mean groove with a little help from his friends on his latest set for Reaction Records, “Fistful Of Gumption.” Those friends that back Randy on these nine originals are collectively referred to as “The Scrappiest Band In The Motherland,” but all are accomplished players in their own right. They kick off in high gear with a song of empowerment, urging us to “C’Mon Brothers And Sisters, and lend a hand to your fellow man.” Cool “dual” slide guitar from Rob Dewan makes this one sparkle and grabs your attention. Randy gets into a Louisiana swing in “Ride To Get It Right,” in tribute to Otis Redding and Earl King. It includes sprightly fiddle from Maya Van Nuys, and Randy himself on the frottoir. Maya’s fiddle returns, along with Randy on harp and Rob on deep-slide guitar on the Southern-rock vibe of “My Stride,” while he takes us on a funky trip down to the roadhouses of East Texas with the tale of today’s music bizness that’s more worried about Auto Tune than the real soul of the music, “Leave A Few Wrong Notes!” Carson Wagner’s honky-tonkin’ piano is the right touch here, too.
We had two favorites, too. We really enjoy Randy’s vocals when he tackles a sweet soul song, and he hits on a killer Johnnie Taylor-esque groove on a cover of Earl King’s “Time For The Sun To Rise.” And, a tribute of sorts to those “unsung heroes” of the blues, the “Background Singer,” name-checks all the great ones from Merry Clayton to the Raelettes and the Ikettes, to bring the “helpers” to the forefront!
Randy McAllister continues to bring us fans the best in Texas blues, having done so for nearly thirty years and thirteen albums. Want to hear the real deal? Check out “Fistful Of Gumption!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.