Bloozotomy are a four piece band with a big sound and some very strong playing on their 12 track album "Ain't Dead Yet." The album has 8 songs composed by Jim Branca who is the band's main man on lead guitar and vocals, the other 4 songs are covers. Lenny Makowski on various sax's and flute, Mike Bernal on acoustic and electric Bass and Matty Nerbak on Drums make up the group on this CD with a few guests as well.
"Ain't Dead Yet" gets the album off to a great swingin' start with Jim's composition of the album's title song, with some nice sax playing, the song itself providing a good workout for the band and I would imagine that this would also be their opening number when they hit the stage. The 4 covers are not just copies of songs, Bloozotomy actually manage to stamp their own identify on them. "300 lbs of Joy" written by Willie Dixon shows Jim's voice to be so big with lots of Bass in his voice as does "16 Tons". "Shake Rattle & Roll" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" have been transformed into very swinging pieces and work well. The saxophone playing on "16 Tons" by Lenny Makowski is a treat. "Dixie Cup" has a New Orleans feel to it giving co/producer Chuck Eller a chance to play some piano, Chuck also contributes some fine Hammond B3 organ on the albums final track "Dancing Through This House". My favourite track on this album has a Neville Brothers feel on it, thanks to Lenny's sax playing sounding like Charles Neville, is "Love Me Baby, Or Get Out Of My Face".
The production mix is first class and Matty Nerbak's snare playing is high in the mix which I like. This defiantly is an album well worth seeking out, showing yet again the quality of the smaller record labels bring some great releases to the market place.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Dave Thomas, Shrewsbury, England, 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.