Dave Specter review….November 16, 2019….

DAVE SPECTER

BLUES FROM THE INSIDE OUT

DELMARK RECORDS  DE 859

BLUES FROM THE INSIDE OUT–PONCHATOULA WAY–MARCH THROUGH THE DARKNESS–SANCTIFUNKIOUS–HOW LOW CAN ONE MAN GO?–ASKING FOR A FRIEND–MINOR SHOUT–THE BLUES AIN’T NOTHIN’–OPPOSITES ATTRACT–SOUL DROP–WAVE’S GONNA COME–STRING CHILLIN

Dave Specter has been playing these blues for over 35 years.  During his career, he’s been content with backing other folks or writing his own instrumentals and letting his guitar be his “voice.”  Recently, some folks commented on his vocal prowess, so, for Dave’s latest, and most expressive album, “Blues From The Inside Out,”  on the Delmark label, Dave takes lead vocal on three cuts as well as burning up the frets in his usual outstanding manner.  He crosses styles, too, with elements of soul, jazz, gospel, and Meters-styled funk.  Jorma Kaukonen, of Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna fame, co-wrote one cut, and plays guitar on two.

That philosophical title cut leads off, with its tales of broken-down Pontiacs, trick bags, and payin’ your dues.  The diversity of this set continues, with Brother John Kattke on keys and vocals on the New Orleans groove of “Ponchatula Way,” and John is on vocals on a sweet tribute to Mavis Staples, urging us to “stand up to these bullies,” and “March Through The Darkness, and into the light!”

Dave is back on vocals for the tongue-in-cheek, midnight creepin’ tale of “Asking For A Friend,” and busts out a couple of his signature instrumentals, the Latin-flavored, “Minor Shout,” featuring the Liquid Soul Horns, and the back-alley grooves of the set-closer, “String Chillin.”

Our two favorites were at polar opposite ends of the musical spectrum.  Sarah Marie Young is the featured vocalist on the call to arms to everyone, the gospel-fired, “Wave’s Gonna Come.”  Dave is on vocal for our other favorite., “How Low Can One Man Go?”   It;s a John Lee Hooker-inspired hard right to the 239-pound jaws of the POTUS, as Dave fires back at his “bone spurs,” “mistreatin’ of women,” and “good men, brown and black,” bullying and constant lies.  Dave’s slide growls like that proverbial HellHound on 45’s tail, too!

Dave Specter has always had his roots deep in the blues, but his skillset is so impressive that he can easily switch among various styles.  With “Blues From The Inside Out,” Dave has added the extra dimension of his strong vocals into the mix, making this a sweet ride, sho’ nuff!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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