Described as ‘Texas Fried, Chicago funked, Rollicking, Racket & Blues’, you might ask what’s in a title? Well in the case of Albert Storro, he certainly does what it says on the tin, ‘getting’ down & nasty’ on six covers and a self penned number that show him to be a bruising player and tough vocalist.
On balance Albert’s playing outweighs his singing - at times his phrasing lacks feel and variety - but in truth most people purchasing this CD will be more focused on the gut wrenching incendiary guitar solo’s, the kick ass rhythm section and the collective smoking band workouts than the singing. Quite an impressive combination when you consider Albert has spent much of his pro career as a drummer!
Storo delivers a stinging guitar attack on a well chosen cover of Carl Weathersby’s ‘Hipshaking Woman’, while his brusque vocals and steely tone is heavily reminiscent of Australian powerhouse Rob Tognoni. As it turns out this track is nicely juxtaposed with a cool soulful blues ‘All My Life’ that sharply brings into focus both the strengths and weaknesses of his style. Albert plays all the instruments except for keyboards and leans into the groove with a rough edged tone that relies more on intensity than tone colour. The undoubted edginess to his playing on this track is also reminiscent of Washington DC guitarist Bobby Radcliff who funnily enough also covers Bobby Rush's ‘Chicken Heads. In Albert’s case if he paid just as much attention to his vocals as to his multi instrumental prowess, he’d be seriously knocking on the doors of a wider rock blues community.
As it is he settles into a funky live cornerstone of the album, the tub thumping rendition of the afore mentioned ‘Chicken Heads’. Albert’s simmering tone picks out the theme over a crunching rhythm section. The guitar and organ interplay here is startlingly good, setting up a deep groove that is both rigorously underpinned and periodically punctuated by drummer Mark MsSwain. Hell, you want funky riff driven magic, look no further as the band play imperiously.
And make no mistake there’s more than enough room in the rock blues community for a fiery player and kicking band such as this. Perhaps only the over reliance on covers is likely to be the biggest stumbling block to breaking out of his native Texas.
And as if to prove that Albert is no one dimensional rock blues journeyman he turns his funky attention to an unlikely Coltrane style take of ‘My Favourite Things’ showing that he has the acute eye of an arranger to match his sterling chops.
File under rock funky rock blues with attitude. SRV fans step this way!