Slugging it out on the Atlanta club circuit for many years, singer/songwriter/guitarist Andrew Black is a classic example of why such young talent remains undiscovered and not yet signed to a major label. He's too good for American Idol and classier then mediocre mainstream artists who pummel the airwaves with musical drivel. Andrew has it all in his heart: blues, jazz, funk, rock and soul.
Jazz more then anything seems to float his boat. For listeners growing weary of over-driven guitar reverb drenched blues, the cd 14th and Crescent put out by Andrew Black @ The Naturals is a package full of such class, even your parents would like it.
Andrew can be a mean guitarslinger as much as the next player. But on this cd, the guitar takes a backseat. For Black it's the singer and song that matter. Not guitar lessons.
Opening track "Treat A Dog" lets the listener know that if they are expecting blues/rock, they are way off the mark. Black's soul streak doesn't stop with his sociological reading of "In The Ghetto."
Black is the quarterback in a team of seasoned players who are sympathetic to his visions. Saxaphonist Will "Bigheart" Scruggs, bassist Dustin Sargent and drummer Jack "Chill" Jones work in a tight unison to present a warm sound enticing in nature. Marvin Gaye might have found an adopted son in Andrew with the gospel "Heaven Help Us All." And your other half will thank you for "Love Won't Let Me Wait."
Andrew's marriage of jazz and blues work their wonders. They have that sense of swing in "EveryDay I Have The Blues." And "Suitcase Blues" is as much music for the body as it is for the mind. It's sexy, cozy, loving and ear candy for the ladies.
If he wants to give his vocal cords a rest, Black has as much right to play instrumentals as well as anyone else. Saxaphonist Will Scruggs takes the driver seat for "Red Clay" with jazz lines making Andrew respond in his best George Benson impersonations. Only in "Red Baron" does Black let the guitar beast come out of him. Only it doesn't ferociously bite you, it just licks your heels.
This cd works for a variety of reasons: It 's a great stocking stuffer for Christmas. It's an audio delight for lovers who want to turn their lamps down low. And it makes you scratch your head and wonder why Andrew has not been on the cover of Blues Revue because his star is on the rise.