Tommy Castro / Jimmy Hall / Lloyd Jones
(Telarc (2003) 83585)
11 tracks, 53 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: November 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
There's little doubt that this gathering could offer some solid blues if they decided to, but this isn't quite the outcome many might have hoped for. Telarc has surely offered some wonderful and fulfilling blues recordings (the recent Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam is superb), but there seems to be an abundance of material that doesn't quite deliver the goods for hardcore blues fans. Lloyd Jones is a guitarist of notable skill, as is Tommy Castro, and Jimmy Hall has come a long way from fronting Wet Willie, but this is more of a rocking, soul-influenced affair with a hint of blues here and there. Riley King's Be Careful With A Fool (Art Tipaldi is in question for crediting the track to Johnny Winter) shows Castro's penchant for rock guitar heroics and a disturbing vocal approach even though Hall's harp is grinding, but most of the set is handed over to funk/soul/R&B rides. Jimmy Hall is surely the best voice here and he easily outshines his contemporaries with If That Ain't Love, and Jones offers the disc's best blues moments with Raised In The Country, but there's little else to rescue this from mediocrity. The antiseptic production is at its most-apparent in Don and Dewey's Mammer Jammer, the track is stiff from beginning to end regardless of the vocal and instrumental coherence of the players, and the closing Cold Funk is hardly what the title implies... it's a few moments of blue-eyed soul at best. While it isn't a complete loss, the Triple Trouble gathering won't make for any lasting memories once it's out of the changer.
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