Downchild review…November 17, 2017….

DOWNCHILD

SOMETHING I’VE DONE

LINUS 270325

ALBANY, ALBANY–WORRIED ABOUT THE WORLD–CAN’T GET MAD AT YOU–MISSISSIPPI WOMAN, MISSISSAUGA MAN–TAKE A PIECE OF MY HEART–MAILBOX MONEY–SHE THINKS I DO–SOMETHING I’VE DONE–INTO THE FIRE–EVELYN

We suppose many fans out there are like us, as we sought out albums back in the late-Seventies and early-Eighties of the Downchild Blues Band, after two of their songs, “Shotgun Blues,” and “I Got Everything I Need (Almost),” were included on Aykroyd and Belushi’s “Briefcase Full Of Blues” album from back in the day.  Now known as simply Downchild, harp and guitar man Donnie Walsh, the only original member from the band’s beginnings in 1969, continues to carry this bidness on, as the band has just wrapped up their 18th studio album, this one entitled, “Something I’ve Done.”   The members of the band’s current lineup have all logged at least 20 years of service, and that innate tightness is excellent throughout, as is the fact that several different members of the sextet had a hand in writing the ten originals herein.

Donnie’s on guitar and harp (on two cuts), and Chuck Jackson’s big, booming delivery carries the vocals.  Up first is the rollicking “Albany, Albany,” the story of that red-hot lover with a little “somethin’ special.”  They keep that party groove going with a cool re-imagining of the Conway and Loretta chestnut, this one entitled “Mississippi Woman, Mississauga Man,” featuring Chuck on the harp on a cut that sho’ nuff lets “everybody party and everybody dance!”  Michael Fonfara’s piano work, reminiscent of Jane Veasey’s work  with the Seventies’ lineup, is in fine, testifyin’ form over the poignant breakup ballad, “just before you go, Take A Piece Of My Heart.”  Michael’s at it again on the bristling boogie of the title cut, which also has Chuck on harp and vocals, for the jumpin’, call-and-response of “must’ve been Something I’ve Done.”  The set closes with Donnie showing off his considerable harp chops, on the instrumental boogie of “Evelyn.”

Our favorite was easy.  This band has long been noted for their way around some jump-blues  that often incorporates a touch of humor, and the tale of a man “waitin’ on Mailbox Money so I can spread it around” fits the bill perfectly!

Downchild and Donnie Walsh are bent on keeping that jump-blues tradition moving forward, as they have done for close to fifty years.  Get yer dancin’ shoes spit-shined for “Something I’ve Done,” and, Donnie….we love you, man—thanks for a lifetime of great blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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