Nick Curran and the Nitelifes
(Blind Pig records (BPCD 5081))
by Mark E. Gallo
Review date: May 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
My 6-year-old daughter and I danced this one from top to bottom. We didn't just cut a rug, we threw the dang thing out the window! It's that kind of music. The Austin-based guitarist and singer has the best new CD to introduce itself to my player in a good while. This guy is a sho ' nuff badass singer and guitarist. The title cut is straight out of the Gator Jackson/Louis Prima book. Freddie King's "Lonesome Whistle Blues," with Jimmy Vaughan sittin' in, is infused with Roy Brown grooves. Roy Brown's own classic "Don't You Be Angry," my favorite cut on the set, is only missing the 78's original pops and scratches. The Nightflies' version of Gatemouth Brown's "Midnight Hour," again with Vaughan trading licks with Curran, will get nominations for the Handy song of the year next time through. Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart" is given a kind of Larry Williams treatment, so that the country classic comes out sixties soul style. That the originals that comprise about half the set are as impressive as the rockin' covers speaks volumes to the authenticity of Nick Curran and his mates. This isn't about retro. It's just where Curran's heart is. His own "Can't Stop Lovin' You," with Gary Primich blowin' hard harp, is as hot as Texas swing gets. It's the kind of natural dance floor swinger that's bound to heal the sick and raise the dead, and toes will tap from a hundred paces. "She's Gone" has a heavy, heavy slow blues that is beyond category. Sort of like a Screamin' Jay Hawkins blues. Unquestionably one of the major releases of 2003, this will be on a whole lot of year-end Top 10 lists. To paraphrase Jimmy Vaughan, this album is just a total asskicker!
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