Brad Stivers review…May 7, 2017…

BRAD STIVERS

TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH

VIZZTONE RECORDS   VT-BS001

2000 MILES–YOU’RE JUST ABOUT TO LOSE YOUR CLOWN–PUT IT DOWN–TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH–HERE WE GO AGAIN (WITH EMILY GIMBLE)–NICKEL AND A NAIL (WITH MALFORD MILLIGAN)–ONE NIGHT OF SIN–CAN’T WAIT–SAVE ME–COLD SWEAT

Guitar-slinger Brad Stivers hails from Austin, TX, and, barely in his mid-twenties, is part of the generation that is poised to carry on this blues bidness well into this century.  He’s a mighty string bender with a powerful vocal delivery who’s recently toured Italy and Switzerland, and he’s working on  a midwest-to-west tour.  His debut, for Vizztone, is aptly-titled “Took You Long Enough,” and uses the talents of fellow Austin players Bukka Allen on B-3, Emily Gimble on piano and vocals, and Malford Milligan on vocals.

Brad coaxes a huge tone out of his guitar, and, over these ten cuts, we get a taste of many of his musical mentors and influences.  He knows a little about some good ol’ Texas twang, and you can hear it for yourself in “Put It Down.”  He pays tribute to the classic instrumentals of the Fifties with a cool read of Fats’ “One Night Of Sin,” and another fine cover features Malford Milligan as guest vocalist as they absolutely burn up the grooves  with a mighty, testifyin’ throwdown of O. V. Wright’s classic, “all I had in my pocket was A Nickel And A Nail.”

Want more reasons to like Brad?  You can tell he’s listened to plenty of Brother Ray, and that is evident on a rapid-fire, double-time take on “You’re Just About To Lose Your Clown,” with a monster sax solo from Mark Wilson.  And, one of the album’s really sweet spots is a duet between Brad and Emily Gimble, who adds piano as both play the love-torn couple in “Here We Go Again.”

Those weren’t even our favorites.  Long-time readers of this humble forum know of our passion for the contribution to blues, soul, and funk from the legendary guitarist from James Brown’s band, Jimmy Nolen.  His “chicken-pickin” licks run thru everything from “Night  Train” forward,  Bad’s taken care of his homework, too, with those staccato lines all the way thru the title cut, as he finally gets a lover to come around to his way of thinking, “Took You Long Enough.”  And, he just turns the mother out on the set-closer, another strong instrumental, this time  the mighty “Cold Sweat.”

Brad Stivers easily mixes the styles and techniques of the masters into his own unique sound, and “Took You Long Enough” is a potent debut!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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