Javier Vargas is an interesting artist. Based out of Madrid, but
recording on the South American label DRO East West, he mixes with blues
artists in the United States, tours pretty much all over the world and
unfortunately is almost unknown to the average blues fan in the United
States. The man has a deep appreciation for the blues but is not afraid
to mix other influences into his songs. This CD shows his return to a
Texas blues sound. Of course there's plenty of excellent guitar work and
overall musicianship is excellent. Bobby Alexander does the vocals on
this CD and he reminds me a bit of Malford Milligan who recently toured
with Double Trouble.
The CD opens with 'Backdoor Man', a solid Texas blues type medium to
up-tempo rocker. 'Troubled Mind' is a laid back shuffle. This song
vocally is like an old shoe, comfortable and relaxed. 'Wild West Blues',
one of two instrumentals on this CD, starts out fairly slow and mixes a
latin rhythm with some Hendrixy feedback to form a relaxed sonic
landscape. The overall effect is tasty and not in your face. 'Barstool
Blues' goes back to a medium temp shuffle 12 bar blues. Vocally
Alexander is relaxed again. Nothing forced here....obviously he has an
excellent voice and doesn't have to force his vocals like some other
singers. 'Blues Magic' is a rocker from the get go with wah wah
augmented solos and an agressive vocal. 'Bluestrology', the title track,
is a story song paying tribute to a ton of blues and rock artists. This
song sounds like one of Jimi Hendrix's experimental recordings. This
song is a little on the spacy side but I bet it would go over pretty
good in any blues club.
'Bound For Memphis' returns to a shuffle with a swinging feel to it.
'You've Got to Move' reminds me a bit of a rockin Fabulous Thunderbirds
sound. 'Free Spirits' throws some latin rhythms into the mix for the
second instrumental on the CD. Wailing guitar added in along with a
backing vocal that's more an instrument than anything else, makes this
an interesting song. 'Traveling South' is pure 12 bar blues.
Bottom Line: This CD, for the most part, is a solid Texas style blues
CD, with some Hendrix style playing and a little latin flavor thrown it
for variety. The songs and musicianship are excellent, the production
is top notch. If you like Texas flavor guitar based blues, you should
love this CD. Javier Vargas is excellent on guitar and Bobby Alexander
is a great addition on vocals. I wish Javier Vargas's CD's were more
available here in the United States. They are a bit hard to find but
well worth it. This CD is a keeper and I give it four out of five stars.
Javier Vargas - electric guitar
Steve Potts - drums
Manuel de Lucena - drums
Dave Smith - bass
Juan Carlos Mendoza - bass
Ernest Williamson - keyboards & Hammond B-3
Bobby Alexander - vocals
Luis Mayo - percussion
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