This new album is the sixth in a very useful series of recordings, documenting some of the under recorded artists from certain cities or area's. I like the whole idea behind these CD's and I was glad to
see the wonderful Fred James in the producers seat as well as playing on the all the tracks.
The CD is divided up between the three acts on the CD each getting 4 tracks. Frank Frost & Sam Carr get the album off to a good start with the first of four compositions by Frank Frost "Better Take It Slow". Frank (Vocals & Harp) & Sam (Drums) are joined by Fred James (Guitar and Bass) on their 4 songs. "Come Here Baby" has some very good harp playing and nice guitar riff playing, but is slightly spoilt by the loud hi-hat in the mix, but Sam's drumming is a joy. "Keep Things Right" is a played at a cracking pace and Frank's harp is soaring over the brisk rhythm. "Hey Baby" is very loose and starts with a great solo from Frank's harp, but after that the number just plods along.
John Weston (Vocals & harp), Troy Broussard (guitar), John Eddie Burns (Bass), Silas Eason (Drums) and Fred James (Rhythm Guitar) have the next four songs and all are written by John Weston. "She's Too Mean" has the rhythm section locked together giving the track a solid beat and
some good vocal and harp from John over the top. "Rainy Weather Blues" starts with some fine guitar playing and has rain riff's through the track on this very pleasant song. "I Couldn't Help But Cry" is more of a standard blues number and shows us how good the blues can be played.
Dave Riley is a new name to me and these four songs are actually his first recordings as the leader of a band. Dave (Vocals & guitar) is joined by Jeff Davis (bass), Andy Arrow (Drums) and Fred James (Rhythm Guitar & Electric Piano). " Automobile" written by Fred James is first up and has a workmanlike feel to it and displays Dave's deep throated voice. "This Thing Called Love" written by Dave starts with a thrusting drum pattern and has Dave playing some nice guitar bits. "Heat Up The Oven" brings the Cd to a close with a gruff vocal and some nice guitar playing from Dave and Fred James.
Overall I find the Album doesn't have any standout tracks but some very honest workman like songs that are played well by the three bands and the styles of the bands are fairly similar. I would like to think if you are ever in Helena you could catch either John Weston or Dave Riley and
if you did, you would not be disappointed.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Dave Thomas, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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