John McNamara review…June 21, 2017….

JOHN MCNAMARA

ROLLIN WITH IT

BLACK MARKET MUSIC/BAHOOL RECORDS  BMM 3942

ONE TWO OF A KIND–BAD REPUTATION–ASK ME NOTHING (BUT ABOUT THE BLUES)–WILD OUT THERE–UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THE MOON–ONE IMPOSSIBLE NIGHT–SECURITY–BLIND MAN–YOU WOULDN’T WANNA KNOW–SUFFERING WITH THE BLUES

Australian soul/blues man John McNamara has parlayed his high-energy sound into a semi-finalist spot in the 2015 IBC’s, as well as having toured virtually all over the globe.  He returned to Memphis for his latest set, recording “Rollin’ With It” at the legendary Ardent Studios, recruiting some of the Bluff City’s finest as backing players.

This set features six of John’s originals, and six songs made famous by the likes of Otis Redding, Bobby Bland, and Little Willie John.  We have Steve Potts on drums, Michael Toles on guitar, and Lester Snell on keys and arrangements, all veterans from the glory days of Stax Records.

Fans, the great musicianship on this album does not disappoint.  John gets right in the pocket with the soulful leadoff cut about a love affair going to pieces, “One, Two Of A Kind,” who, “truth be told, may not make it through this time.”  Later, he begs that lover for a second chance, because “It’s Wild Out There,” and professes that his wild days are through in “Bad Reputation,” as “everything I’m seeing is you!.”

He explores a hip, jazzy side to his sound through two cuts. “One Impossible Night” uses scat-singing over a stinging guitar to get its message across, while a cool B-3 riff runs thru the cat-like creep of “Under The Weight Of The Moon.”

He pays tribute to his heroes, also, with a killer read of Otis’ “Security,” and plays the lovelorn hero to the hilt on three others.–Bobby Bland’s “Ask Me Nothing (But About The Blues),” “Blind Man standing on the corner,” and, our personal favorite, the poignant tale of the lover trying to figure out what went wrong, a sweet read of Little Willie John’s “Suffering With The Blues.”

Just like a Mason jar of cold iced tea. the longer you partake of these grooves, the sweeter they get.  Enjoy John McNamara’s most excellent tribute to Southern soul the way it’s supposed to be done, “Rollin’ With It.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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