"School for Fools" is the brainchild of multi-talented songwriter / producer Jeff Alexander, and it is one of those great recordings that come around once in a very blue moon. Featuring the vocal talents of Larry Thurston, the real draw for me on this recording was the involvement of the great Levon Helm. Since his days with The Band, Helm has consistantly been one of the most innovative drummers in the business and always one of musics great vocalists. Although a bout with cancer silenced his singing a few years back, his drumming is better than ever, and he certainly lends a groove to
the proceedings that are hard to equal.
The other "Hall of famer" who makes an appearance on a couple of tracks is the legendary Johnnie Johnson on piano. Johnson, who was embroiled with a legal battle with Chuck Berry during the making of these recordings, lends his unique keyboard playing to two of the tracks (you have to hear him and Levon together on "Happy Hour" !)and he is, as always, amazing.
Recorded in New York and St Louis, "School for Fools" is a must-have if you are a fan of the blues. Although only available through the internet at this time, it is a collection of songs that is worth tracking down-hopefully some hip record company in the not-to-distant future will give this release the distribution it deserves.
Jeff Alexander has really put together a winner--cant wait to hear what he has up his sleeve for the next one! "School for Fools"...go get it.
Bob Reichers, "Nighthawks," WOMR-FM 92.1, Provincetown, Mass
(webcasting world-wide at www.womr.org )
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