The high energy live show of the bugs Beddow Band and their trombone-driven party blues is accurately reflected on this disc. They consistently deliver danceable rhythms and driving horns which has made them one of the most popular acts throughout metro Detroit. It should come as no surprise that they were voted Best R&B Band at the year 2000 Detroit Music Awards. The band primarily plays covers and this 13 track, 74 minute disc is no exception as it only contains 1 original number. This is a band that loves to party the blues. As a result this CD is packed with impromptu jams and song's with average lengths of 6 minutes. The chosen covers are a musical breed featuring hits from Joe Cocker to Dr. John, the Allman Brothers and Little Walter. The recording was taken right off the soundboard which results in a less than desired sound quality.
Bandleader Beddow is part of a dying breed of blues trombonists. In addition, he plays flute and whammy trumpet. Four of the five bandmembers share the lead vocal duty. However, bugs delivers the best vocals for the band. On "She Caught The Katy", he hits as many notes with his voice as he does with his Holton TR158 trombone. This song has become a signature tune for the band. In fact, I haven't been to a gig where they didn't perform it. They deliver it with a barrel of energy with sensational interplay between the slide guitar, sax and trombone. Bassist Don Turner sings the sole original song, "Woman Crazy Man". It features powerful solos from all including an outstanding sax solo from James Morse. They lay down an extra heavy version of SRV's "Cold Shot". Jason Hinz belts out gritty vocals while playing hot rockin' screaming guitar licks. "Once You Get A Taste" gives the band the opportunity to deliver some super funk. They do a brass-laden, wild party version of ZZ Top's 80s hit "Cheap Sunglasses". Here, there is enough horn power to blow down the big tent they were performing under. Drummer Jim Pryor's soft and smooth vocals don't cut it on "Driving Wheel". However, you will be blown away by the ferocity of the guitar and horns.
All in all it's a dynamic and energetic set that at times gets raucous. Throughout, the band is white hot and at their blazing best. You will surely pity the act that had to follow them. The disc will be most appealing to blues newbies and loyal fans. For most, the tunes on this CD will already exist numerous times within a blues collection. Next time around, the band should leave the comfort zone of covering songs and do some more of their own material.
For CDs, booking and info contact: bugs Beddow Band, PO Box 240411, Orchard Lake, MI 48324-0411 (248) 546-BUGS Website: www.bugsbeddow.com
This review is copyright © 2001 by Tim Holek, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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