Nick Schnebelen review…February 28, 2019….

NICK SCHNEBELEN

CRAZY ALL BY MYSELF

VIZZTONE VT-NSB03

LI’L DEATH–IT AIN’T ME–AIN’T GOT TIME FOR THE BLUES–CRAZY ALL BY MYSELF–ALTAR OF LOVE–BAD DISPOSITION WITH THE BLUES–BAD DREAM–SOUL MAGIC–I’M A FATBOY–I LEANED MY HEART ON YOU–OUT OF BAD LUCK–MONKEY AROUND–HOLDING ON

We’ve known Nick Schnebelen since his younger days as a member of the Schnebelen family’s previous band, Trampled Under Foot, based out of the Kansas City area.  On his own for some time now, he’s teamed with Grammy and Blues Award winner Tony Braunagel , who produced Nick’s latest set, “Crazy All By Myself,” for Vizztone Records.  After two well-received live albums, this set serves as Nick’s first solo outing, and it is a strong one, indeed.  It features Nick on guitars and vocals, with several of the “usual suspects” from the Phantom Blues Band, including Tony Braunagel on drums, Johnny Lee Schell on rhythm guitar and vocals, Mike Finnigan on keys, and a literal host of other excellent players.

Leading off is the lusty, busty, “Li’l Death,” where his lover has carte blanche to “roll me, baby, till my eyes roll back!”  Mike’s whorehouse piano rides the boogie of “Ain’t Got Time For The Blues,” as Nick’s on his way to seein’ that special lover, while “Soul Magic” plays out smoothly as our hero attests that “this ain’t no ordinary love, when you put your Soul Magic on me!”

Nick pays a soulful tribute to one of his heroes (and ours, too!), Magic Sam Maghett, with the West Side whoop of “Out Of Bad Luck,” with Mike’s piano again prominently featured.

We had three favorites, too.  The title cut is a sweet shot of stop-time bump-and-grind, as Nick realizes that, with a wishy-washy woman “I can go Crazy All By Myself!”  Everybody has a good time with the old Delbert stomper, “if you turn a man into a monkey, that monkey’s gonna Monkey Around,” and Nick’s deep slide playing drives his ode to all things Harley-Davidson, as he’s gonna “live to ride and ride to live” on “I’m A Fatboy lookin’ for a soft tail to ride!”

Nick Schnebelen has been responsible for great music his entire life,  As such, we’d expect nothing less on his solo debut, “Crazy All By Myself,” which solidifies him as one of the premier artists in all of contemporary blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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