With eight previous albums behind them-all on Alligator; not only have they established themselves as a national act, but as an international powerhouse as well. To see the band live is nothing short of bliss. Charlie Baty's warm and flawless guitar work is legendary. The same goes for Rick Estrin's harp. Rick can play in the "Chi Town" fashion as well as West Coast, and anything you want to throw at him. Frankie Randall's electric and acoustic bass are in fine form with Joey Ventittelli's drums. The guest list is in top form with Rusty Zinn on guitar (guitar and vocal on "It Better Get Better"-nice! Zinn also plays second guitar on "Bluto's Back"). Add some brass and keys, and you get a well-rounded mix of great music. The first song, "Real Love" starts out with a breathy and jive Estrin having some fun-the same goes for track #2: "Weekend Off." Rick's harp is superb at track 3: "Desperate Man"-a slick tremolo from Charlie (very subtle). Number four takes a turn with piano and some brass-great solo from Charlie-perhaps my favorite song on the album. Moving into track 5: "That's Big" -totally crazy-Estrin puts on the jive and pulls you into his corner-love it! Track #6: "Bluto's Back" is an instrumental workout between Charlie and the bass-beautiful. The band takes a slower pace with "I'll Bet I Never Cross Your Mind" a beautiful mood piece, and strong vocals from Estrin. Track #8 : "I Know She Used To Be Your Woman" is a harp extravaganza. Think fun at track #9: "Money Must Think I'm Dead"-has a nice bounce. Number #10 is an instrumental; a definite favorite in that department. And as the songs move along (11-14); we are treated with the kind of music that we' expect from this wonderful band-party on!
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This review is copyright © 2002 by Dick Houff, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
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