Big Joe And The Dynaflows review…February 17, 2019….

BIG JOE AND THE DYNAFLOWS

ROCKHOUSE PARTY

SEVERN RECORDS  0074

DRIVING WHEEL–SO MEAN TO ME–8 MEN 4 WOMEN–GO ON FOOL–WORLD GONE WRONG–IF YOU NEED SOME LOVIN–OVERDRIVE–TENNESSEE WOMAN–GO WITH THE FLOW–I’M A COUNTRY BOY–VIBRATE–SLEEPY JOE–TWO YEARS OF TORTURE

Big Joe Maher is one of the classic R & B/blues drummers and vocalists on the contemporary scene.  Steeped in truly “old-school” traditions, his latest album was recorded ’bout thirty miles from my house, at Kevin McKendree’s Rockhouse Studios in Franklin, TN.  That also serves as this album’s title, because it is sho’  nuff a “Rockhouse Party!”  Four of the cuts are Joe’s originals, and he writes them all in that vintage R & B groove.  Aside from Joe on drums and vocals, we have Kevin McKendree on keys, his 17-year old (!) son Yates on guitar, along with 16-year old female pheenom Erin Coburn and Robert Frahm on guitars as well.  Mookie Brill is on bass, and we’ve known him since his days with Bob Margolin back ’round 2003, and this set offers up his first recorded vocals!  All the players have that seasoned-veteran feel that Joe was looking for, and this whole thing is a hi-octane hoot!

Highlights are everywhere, beginning with Joe’s vocal on a trip down to that place where you “get your steak, potatoes, and tea,” Roosevelt Sykes’ iconic “Driving Wheel!”  Mookie’s first vocal is next, and it’s a good ‘un—an amped-up tale of “usin’ me ’til the real thing comes along,” Little Milton’s “So Mean To Me.”  He keeps that soulful groove going with one of our favorites, a plaintive read of Don Robey’s classic made famous by O. V. Wright,, where “8 Men, 4 Women found me guilty of loving you!”  He goes “uptown” with the swingin’ boogie of Fenton Robinson’s “Tennessee Woman,” with solid piano from Kevin.

One of Big Joe’s originals served as our other favorite.  It’s a killer shot of minor-key slow blues that deals with the anger and divisiveness in today’s society, leading to a “World Gone Wrong.”

Big Joe And The Dynaflows can always be counted upon for solid, highly-danceable R & B-flavored blues.  “Rockhouse Party” marks his return to Severn Records, and the musicianship from the veterans and the young ‘uns is exemplary.  Roll back the rug, put on your dancin’ shoes, and go with the flow!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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