John Clifton review…May 28, 2018….

JOHN CLIFTON

NIGHTLIFE

RIP CAT RECORDS RIC 1803

STRANGE LAND–SAD ABOUT IT–LAST CLEAN SHIRT–LONG AS I HAVE YOU–BRAND NEW WAY TO WALK–SWAMP DUMP–HOW ABOUT THAT–STILL A FOOL–NIGHTLIFE–WILD RIDE–NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW–EVERY NOW AND THEN

John Clifton is one of those powerhouse players who triple-threats on vocals, harp, and guitar.  Known the world over for his red-hot live shows, he has just released his latest for Rip Cat Records, “Nightlife.”  It’s twelve cuts of vintage blues that gives you a good taste of what goes down when these guys are on stage.  Along with John, we have Scott Abeyta on guitar, Matt Moulton on bass, Bartek Szopinski on keys, and drums from John Shafer and Roman Rivera.

They kick off on a blistering note, with the chugging backbeat and John’s wailin’ harp on Charlie Musselwhite’s  “stranger in a Strange Land.”  Bartek’s piano rings true throughout the good times of Little Walter’s “Long As I Have You, ain’t nothin’ I wouldn’t do,” with a fine harp solo at the break.  John and the fellows dig down deep with a rockabilly groove on his original, “found me a New Way To Walk,”  and they close the set with another original, nine minutes of a mouth-watering slow blues tale of never quite being in the right place at the right time, “Every Now And Then, good Lord, let me catch a break!”

We had two favorites, too.  The title cut hearkens back to Sixties’ psychedelic pop with a taste of the blues, where  the “neons are gleaming and the gamblers are dreaming” in the “Nightlife.”  And, that pounding beat and wailin’ slide that drives those “two trains running” is a sho’ nuff cool, echo-washed read of Muddy’s “Still A Fool.”  John’s mournful, pleading vocal makes you feel his pain, as “she’s the one I hate to lose.”

Rip Cat Records prides itself in bringing out artists who are well-versed in the jumpin’ swing of authentic West-Coast-styled blues.  John Clifton and his band understand the history involved in the music they play and keep it fresh for contemporary audiences.  Be a part of the “Nightlife” from this most excellent blues band!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joey Alkes on May 30, 2018 at 2:14 am

    love the McMains CD American Soul!!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Joey Alkes on May 30, 2018 at 2:19 am

    My mistake John, thought that this was the comment for McMains. Must say the review of your CD makes me curious for sure.

    Reply

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