Lookin' For Trouble!
M.C. Records (2003) MC-0049
15 tracks, 59 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: July 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Kim Wilson is at the point in his career where he can be depended on for solid
work each time a new CD is released, whether under his own name, or as the last original
member of The Fablulous Thunderbirds. Granted, when running around leading the
T-Birds, there's a healthy amount of the band's less-than-straight-ahead blues leanings, but
everything is firmly planted with an exciting bent on roots music. However, Kim's solo efforts
over the years have generally been much more blues oriented, and Lookin' For
Trouble!, his fifth solo venture, stands as what we've come to expect; just another
one of those great blues records by an artist who morphed from a tough youngster into
one of the most-respected players in his field. With nine of the fifteen tracks either written or
co-written by Kim, it's certainly his most personal recording to date and proves his
unquestionable talents as one of the finest harp players, singers, and songwriters in modern
blues. Whether loping through Tortured, swinging heavily in Hurt On Me, or
stomping through Love Attack, Kim's voice is threatening and soulful while his
harmonica work retains that decidedly vintage sound with thick tones and rumbling
distortion. Hand To Mouth bristles with a thundering Howlin' Wolf groove,
Hightime bounces through New Orleans, and Lookin' For Trouble rides a
pounding shuffle while Lookin' For Trouble II is handled with an old rock and roll feel
(the same lyrics with completely different results, but both work tremendously). The two
instrumentals, F Fat and Jr.'s Jump are laced with grinding harp and the
choice of cover material is another bonus; Dave Bartholomew's Hook Line & Sinker,
Snooky Pryor's Tried To Ruin Me, or Jimmy Rogers' Money, Marbles And Chalk
are all handled with the taste this veteran performer has been known for. The tracks stem
from March and December of 2002 with Troy Gonyea providing muscular and manic guitar,
Mark Stevens on keyboards, and Jon Ross tackling bass chores, while the drumming is solidly
handled by Richard Innes or Steve Ramsey. While a few of the cuts will be familiar as songs
recorded by Kim and [b]The Fabulous Thunderbirds[/b] (Tortured, Hurt On Me, and
Hand To Mouth were all on the band's 1997 High Water project), they
all ride a far more straight-ahead blues approach here and, in turn, sound completely new.
While there are plenty of harmonica players still earning their stripes around the world,
Kim Wilson remains as one of the best and his backing band can always be
counted on for stellar and highly rhythmic support. This is another incredibly satisfying look at
Kim Wilson's heart and soul, perhaps his best to date. www.mc-records.com for more
information on this and other fine releases.
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