One of the more interesting performers on the Best Buy Stage at this year's Chicago
Blues Festival was Nigel Mack and the Blues Attack. Vancouver native Nigel Mack has been described at a "triple threat," performing as a vocalist, guitarist and harp player. Mack is developing a growing reputation across the United States as an excellent slide guitarist who puts out some exceptional straight ahead blues with the feeling of bluesmen from the past.
Road Rage is Nigel Mack and the Blues Attack's second independently produced CD and an excellent follow-up to his debut CD, High Price To Pay. On Road Rage, Mack offers up a combination live and studio recorded CD that includes songs by the likes of Elmore James, Willie Cobbs and Willie Dixon, along with a number of Nigel Mack originals. The live portions of Road Rage were recorded at Vancouver's historic Yale Hotel, while the studio portions were also recorded in Vancouver at Blue Wave Studios, home base for many of Canada's finest blues performers. The live recordings have previously been available on a limited cassette release entitled 100% Live, while the three studio cuts, "Just What I Say," "Green River" and "Rock Bottom" were originally recorded for High Price To Pay but not included due to time constraints on High Price To Pay.
For listeners who enjoy live recordings, the live cuts on Road Rage bring out the sound and feeling of a Nigel Mack and the Blues Attack's live show. The recording does and exceptional job of capturing the remarkable talents of Nigel Mack as a guitarist, slide player and on harmonica. The vocals are well done, with Mack putting a lot of feeling into his songs. Following live recordings of covers by two Willies; Cobbs ("You Don't Love Me") and Dixon ("I Want To Be Loved"), the band burns through the first of the Nigel Mack originals, "500 Yds. Of Paradise," an excellent song with a unique topic, the destruction of the rainforest. Four of the next five songs are originals as well, featuring more fine guitar and harp from Mack, backed by an excellent group of musicians that vary depending on whether the cut is live or from the studio. Another cover, Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying," is an entertaining cut and very appropriate given Mack's combination of talents, especially on slide guitar.
Nigel Mack and the Blues Attack is one of a number of fine blues combos out of the
"great white north," Canada. Road Rage is a well done CD and exemplifies Nigel
Mack's talents as a blues musician and the hard work he has done to build his reputation in the blues world, logging over half a million miles across the United States. To get a copy of Road Rage, visit Nigel Mack's website at www.nigelmack.com.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, 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.