EB Davis, he has been described by Living Blues Magazine as being one of the true "sweat men" of the blues; giving it all up for the audience every time he takes the stage. On the 2001 release of I Write The Checks, EB Davis teams up with a tight blues combo from that "blues hotbed," The Czech Republic, to assemble one great record. Clearly, in this collaboration with Jan Korinek & Groove, EB Davis puts his three ingredients of good performance; "Look good, entertain and, most important of all, sound good," in a package that is certain to do its magic on any lover of the blues on the smooth side.
I Write The Checks is only eight tracks and 43:40 minutes long, but the music available packs a considerable punch. The CD opens with an excellent up tempo song entitled "The Weaker Sex," by Chicago bluesman James Wheeler and progresses through seven more songs by several well-known blues icons including T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and Jimmy Witherspoon. EB, a prolific songwriter in his own right, only contributes one song to the mix, "Havin' Myself A Ball," an excellent tune with a piano laden shuffle from Jan Korinek, complete with fine horn support. On the song, EB emphasizes the joy of playing his music, "hangin' out with the boys and havin' myself a ball."
Among the other tunes on I Write The Checks, I found the band's rendition of T-Bone Walker's classic, "Glamour Girl," to be exceptional with guitar by Rennie Trossman that is very reminiscent of the style forged by Walker throughout his career. Korninek's piano is also prominent in the song as is the background sax by Jakub Dolezal. "Galmour Girl" is followed by "Come Back Baby," a traditional tune that the band performs in the classic jump style. As is the case with every song on the CD, EB Davis' vocals are smooth as silk and add to the character of every song.
EB, Jan and company perform two B.B. King covers on the CD both are exceptionally well done. "Drivin' Wheel" is my favorite, mostly because it is one of my favorite B. B. King songs to begin with. However, "Woke Up This Morning" is equally well done, both songs including Jan Korinek's fine keyboard work and a band that really keeps it all together regardless of the song and style.
The Jimmy Witherspoon classic, "Ain't Nobody's Business," allows the band to work out on a nice slow blues that includes more tasty guitar work by Rennie Trossman and EB's torchy vocals. The last number to be mentioned, although not by any means the least, is the classic classic, "Night Time Is The Right Time," written by Herman Low. This song includes an infectious groove and maintains the excellent feel that pervades the CD.
Because of the fact that this is an Eastern European band and because EB Davis has focused his efforts and successes on the very appreciative European market, this CD may not be the easiest to acquire. To find out more about I Write The Checks, Jan Korinek & Groove and EB Davis, the CD jacket suggests visiting www.praguereport.com/tng or kora.jfcomp.cz/groove/. I can guarantee you that finding the CD will be well worth the effort.
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