Nick Schnebelen Live review…May 9, 2017….

NICK SCHNEBELEN

LIVE IN KANSAS CITY

VIZZTONE VT-NSB 02

FOOL–PAIN IN MY MIND–HERBERT HARPER’S FREE PRESS NEWS–YOU CALL THAT LOVE–BAD WOMAN BLUES–MEAN TOWN BLUES–JONNY CHEAT–BAD DISPOSITION–SCHOOLNIGHT–CONFORMITY BLUES

Nick Schnebelen won the prestigious Albert King Flying V Award for Best Guitarist during the 2008  IBC.  That propelled Nick and his siblings to form Trampled Under Foot, releasing two highly-acclaimed releases produced by Tony Braunagel, “Wrong Side Of The Blues,” and “Badlands.”  The latter won the Best Contemporary Blues Album award at the 2014 Blues Awards.  Nick’s on his own now, and his most recent set for Vizztone is a fiery set recorded “Live In Kansas City” at the fabled Knucklehead’s Saloon, in front of a revved-up crowd.

Nick and his power trio  run thru ten cuts, three covers and seven songs either written wholly by Nick, or in collaboration with his siblings and Tony Braunagel. Leading off is an amped-up, stop-time original from Nick, detailing  the  age-old story of that “ol other man,” where Nick realizes he’s always been “the Fool that falls for love.”  The minor-key, slow-blues story of Nick’s lover, who’s skilled in head games, is also “doin’ my best friend,” entitled “You Call That Love.”  “Bad Woman Blues” is driven by Nick’s slick slide  playing, following a slowed-down, Diddley-beat groove.  He jacks the slide playing up another notch on a  motorvatin’ cover of Johnny Winter’s “Mean Town Blues,” and closes the curtain with a dazzlingly-jazzy original instrumental, the Allman-flavored “Conformity Blues.”

We had two favorites, too.  Another tune written by the three siblings, “Jonny Cheat,” rides that “endless boogie” groove, and recalls sad times, “when you lose the one you love.”  And, one of the covers is quite unique.  The tune first appeared on Muddy’s album that you either love or you loathe, “Electric Mud.”  It’s a cool protest song, tho, and it’s message is as biting as it was back in ’68, “Herbert Harper’s Free Press News.”  Nick’s lead lines also are as stinging and passionate as the song itself.

Nick Schnebelen continues to show how the young ‘uns in the blues world are such a force in today’s blues.  His “Live In Kansas City” is, sho’ nuff, the next best thing to being there!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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