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A Blue Thing
(Parhelion Records CD50015)
Review Date: Nov 2008
by Gordon Baxter
The album opens with "Lunch with Satan's Grandma," the first of five Rigney compositions. It is a rollicking tune that pairs Rigney's fine fiddle with some very neat slide guitar from Anthony Paule. The band are reined back in for the jaunty "Blow Away My Blues" where Rigney and Steve Parks do a nice job sharing vocals, and Roy Rogers makes the first of three appearances on guitar. There is then a more radical shift of emphasis for the instrumental "The Blue Hour" which hints at Santana, with its strong Latin feel.
Louisiana gets a look in to on "Hold Me Tight" (think Slim Harpo), and more strongly on the Cajun influenced "Gator Boy." For those who want jazz, "Don and Dewey" fits the bill, and features some tasty B3 from John R. Burr, but pick of the covers is Gatemouth Brown's "Gate's On The Heat." It is delivered with real gusto, and the three piece horn section really make it swing.
The album rounds off with a quartet of covers, starting with "House of the Rising Sun," which has a slightly oriental feel to the opening. This is followed by another jaunty vocal number, Cliff Carlisle's "That Nasty Swing" complete with yodeling, and some nice acoustic slide guitar from Bob Brozman. After another carefully disguised opening the legendary "St Louis Blues," finally gives way to a largely instrumental rendition of "Baby Please Don't Go" which bring things to a close.
In the liner notes, Rigney refers to himself as "this Irishman with a fiddle." That really is something of an understatement. Rigney is a fiddle player of the first order, and "A Blue Thing" offers an excellent demonstration of his attributes as a songwriter and arranger too. Although there is a wide range of styles on display, Rigney picks and chooses the supporting cast so that the whole thing hangs together really well.
This review is copyright (c) 2008, Gordon Baxter and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.
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