Westside Andy Mel Ford Band
False Dog (2003) 80632
11 tracks, 55 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: July 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
The city of Madison has a lengthy history as one of the stronger blues communities in the States, and the Westside Andy Mel Ford Band are definitely a force to be reckoned with on the evidence of their two 'live' CDs, Handyman perhaps getting a nod as the better of the pair. Westside Andy's harp tone is thick, rich and warmly distorted, owing debt to Big Walter Horton and a few others and Mel Ford's guitar buzzes with hefty overtones and traditional licks. The title track kicks off the set with an effortless shuffle and Pork And Beans rides off a perfectly played New
Orleans' second-line rhythm, and although Waitin' For You is another well-played grinder, the vocal affectations are a bit bothersome. Lip Service might well be a crowd pleasing instrumental during a rocking night in a tavern, but at ten minutes long with its dictionary of generic blues hooks, it fizzles among the remainder of the disc, especially Tongue And Groove, a focused harp ride over a lazy back and forth rhythm. The Lowell Fulson feel of You Put It Out is crafty and Mr.
Clean shows more excellent songwriting, as does Frogs For Snakes, a keeper. Yonders Wall is taken at a slower and funkier clip where Ford tosses out some potent guitar, and the closing track Beer takes a few pages from the songbook of Jimmy Rogers. Although keyboardist Jimmy Voegeil is touted as an Otis Span devotee in the liner notes, one wishes there had been a grinding stomp for him to pull out the stops on. While there might not be anything earth-shattering during the 55 minutes of Handyman, it's a solid effort nonetheless with a good cross-section of styles played by a hardworking band.
To order CD: www.westsideandy.com
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