Gus Spenos review…April 3, 2018…..

GUS SPENOS

IT’S LOVIN’ I GUARANTEE

IT’S LOVIN’ I GUARANTEE–SHE WALKED RIGHT IN–HUSH BABY DON’T YOU CRY–FOOL’S BLUES–EVERY TIC’S GOT A TOC–THE BLIND BOY–LIVIN’ IS A CRIME–LIL’ DOG–I’M GONE–HAVE MERCY BABY–HEY GIRL–KIND LOVING DADDY–GOT MYSELF A DIAMOND

Imagine this if you will.  A mild-mannered Indianapolis neurologist by day punts his scrubs by night and  puts on his zoot suit, grabs his sax, and becomes one of the best purveyors of jump blues you’ll find on either side of the Mississippi.  His latest album is entitled “It’s Lovin’ I Guarantee,” and consists of nine cool covers and four Gus originals that sound as tho they were written from the era when Louis Jordan and Wynonie Harris ruled the airwaves.

Gus has a full big band, and they jump and jive all over this set.  and the whole thing just makes you wanna put on yer dancin’ shoes and rock your blues away!  He kicks off with the bold prediction to any potential lovers to “see what your life can be, it’s Lovin’ I Guarantee!”  Brandon McCune offers up some fine keys work, as Gus bids fare the well to a no-good lover in “Fool’s Blues,” and shows up a bit later on B-3 for a swingin’ version of Bobby Elvin’s “The Blind Boy.”  And, a couple of former Raelettes add backing vocals to Gus’ sax-heavy romp thru “Have Mercy Baby.’

We had two favorites, too.  “She Walks Right In, she walks right out” is Gus’ take on that classic “I know you don’t love me no more” lament, again featuring those sweet Raelettes on backing vocals.  And, Gus offers some sage advice to us all in his original, “Don’t run to your future, it’s gon’ get here anyhow,” ’cause “Every Tick’s Got A Tock.”

The great thing about Gus Spenos and “It’s Lovin’ I Guarantee’ is his incredible sax chops and his desire to keep a great genre’ of the blues alive, vibrant, and like new.  Gus, long may your sax jump, jive, and wail!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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