Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors review…July 19, 2018…

MARK WENNER’S BLUES WARRIORS

ELLERSOUL RECORDS  ELL 1807

DIAMONDS AT YOUR FEET–LET ME BE YOUR TEDDY BEAR–ROCK A WHILE–CHECKIN’ UP ON MY BABY–JUST TO BE WITH YOU–KING BEE–IT’S MY OWN FAULT–HELLO JOSEPHINE–TRUST MY BABY–THE HUCKLEBUCK–JUST LIKE JOHNNY–DUST MY BROOM

Blues fans will recognize the name Mark Wenner as the founding member of The Nighthawks.  His harp and vocals have stood the test of time over a career that is still going strong after 40+ years.  His “Blues Warriors” is a side project, featuring some of the finest sidemen in the D. C. area, and, together, they wail thru eleven covers and one original, all done up in classic Mark Wenner style.  He shares the vocal duties with Clarence Turner, who’s also on guitar, and Mark Stutso, on drums.  The band is rounded out by Zach Sweeney on guitar, and Steve Wolf on bass.

The party kicks off with “she got to take sick and die one of these days,” the swingin’ opening lyric to one of Muddy’s gems, “Diamonds At Your Feet.”  Mark is on vocal for one of the most unique arrangements of Presley’s “Teddy Bear” you’re likely to hear, this one done up in a walking-beat, Jimmy Reed-ish groove.  Speaking of Mr. Reed, Mark pays tribute to his first harp hero thru an instrumental, done up “Just Like Jimmy” woulda done, back in the day!  Mark is also a big fan of Slim Harpo, and the fellows dig down deep into that swampy, echo-fied groove of “I’m A King Bee, Baby,” while Mark Stutso on vocals offers up a sweet homage to Big Joe Turner’s Atlantic days with the rare “Rock A While.”

Speaking of Mark, he gave us one of our favorites.  It’s a smokin’ “3 AM last-call” killer take of B. B.’s “It’s My Own Fault, baby, treat me the way you want to do!”  Our other favorite closed the set.  Yep, it’s “Dust My Broom,” sung here by Clarence, and is heavy on Mark’s harp, and a fine, rockin’ good way to close this set!

Fans, Mark Wenner and the guys who make up “The Blues Warriors” have been playing this music and playing it well for decades.  Give this one a spin–it’s a “Wenner,” all-around!  Until next time, Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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