Roy Gaines is getting his proper dues after 50 years in the business of the blues. He amassed his reputation as a major domo axeman who backed up a 'who's who' of 50's and 60's soul and r&b legends, including Chuck Willis, Roy Milton, and Ray Charles, while restricting himself to the odd single on several obscure labels.
By the mid-90's, the Texas-born Gaines finally got down to making his mark as a solo artist, introducing a new generation of fans to his distinctive fire-and-brimstone axework with a touch of T-Bone to boot, thrown together with some of the nastiest vocals that can be imagined. It clicks with a sonic jolt on 'New Frontier Lover'--twelve tracks of grit piggybacked on "tough-as-nails", no-nonsense lyrics.
"The World's Biggest Lover" was co-authored by Audry Williams (Hank Williams Sr.'s wife and Roy's ex-manager), but Roy transforms it into a smoldering tour de force. "Hind Ends and Elbows" is semi-autobiographical; a throbbing "salt-of-the-earth" remembrance of a time and place when a man's worth was gauged by the number of bales of cotton he could tote. "Texas Millionaire" is a juicy tidbit of blues-drenched Southern soul, while "W.C. Handy Sang the Blues" has the makings of a blues anthem.
There is total believability to Roy Gaines: a top shelf player who simply dubs himself as a 'Bluesman For Life'. Well, I'm a true believer.
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