Stu Bryant, aka "Mojo Stu" began his love affair with the blues back in the 1970's after seeing James Cotton live. The love affair continues to this day, and the current state of affairs is now captured on his third album "Real House Blues."
The album opens in style with "Leave it Gone," which highlights Mojo Stu's big rich voice, on a tune that has a gospel/soul feel to it. It also features some nice slide guitar, and the background vocals are sublime. The ensuing "Got A Love" also has something of a gospel feel to it. A simple tune, based around a chant, this one will set your feet tapping, as will "My Mama She Don't Love Me."
Although the album is somewhat dominated by a blues and/or gospel feel, there are plenty of original touches that make it just that little bit different from the competition. The rattling train tempo "Hootchie Mama" as well as featuring some nice slide guitar, also makes good use of programmed drum-beats, as does the slower "Don't Worry."
Things start to move away from mainstream blues with the funky drumbeat and electric piano of "Eldorado." "Lightning" then mixes things up a bit more, featuring plenty of electric slide guitar, which trades passages with synthesizer as the track moves more towards AOR territory. After a call and response interlude the track then draws fairly swiftly to a close.
The album does tail off slightly towards the end. The penultimate track is a short instrumental reprise of "Lightning." Given that it is immediately after the track itself, it seems slightly odd to have it as a separate track. The album then ends with "Hey Hey," an instrumental that is dominated by guitar and synthesiser, and just sort of drifts along, makes it appear a little weak given much of what has gone before.
Those who appreciate the recent work of Paul Reddick and the Sidemen will find Mojo Stu's general approach to the blues very much to their taste. He is a fine guitarist and songwriter, with a terrific voice that he uses to great effect. And on "Real House Blues" he has delivered an album which has enough originality to it to set it apart from other contemporary blues albums.