Chicken & Waffles
13 tracks, 58 minutes
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: March 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
From Long Beach, CA, Mama's Boys are a dangerously potent four-piece outfit with enough
power to level any juke-joint or nightclub to splinters. Comprised of frontman/vocalist Johnny Mastro,
Dave Melton's gritty guitar, and a rhythm section of Jeff Henry and Jim Goodall on bass and drums
respectively, the baker's dozen here exhibit both intense drive and healthy originality on their own
items as well as the strong covers. Ricky Allen's You'd Better Be Sure and an Elmore James
slide showstopper, Coming Home, bristle with electricity. Mastro proves himself a workhorse as
a singer and harp player as his tone ranges from somewhat light and airy on Too Tight to thick
and deliberate on a heads-up version of the standard Shake 'Em On Down, while his chromatic
efforts on the title track recall Carey Bell. Little Walter's Come Back Baby and Guitar Slim's
Something To Remember You By might well lean towards the 1960s approach of Paul
Butterfield or Charlie Musselwhite, but there's no question that this band is steeped in the 1950s
Chicago style. Certainly one of the finer self-produced efforts from 2002 and if the lowdown nature of
Blues For Late Summer, a sizzling nine-and-a-half minute drag (with a violent Kirk Fletcher
guitar solo) doesn't cure you of your ills, check for a pulse - you might be dead.
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