This slick, fast-paced debut release from Luther "Badman" Keith offers a little Motown rhythm, a chunk of Chicago-style blues and some corner bar rock on this independent effort. The arrangements are solid, some nice horns scattered throughout. Keith, a public affairs editor and former sportswriter at The Detroit News, didn't pick up a guitar until the ripe age of 30 but he's trying to make up for lost time by playing, singing, and writing a dozen of these tracks for this CD, which he also produced and arranged. And while some of his vocals are strictly self-promotional ("Badman" and "Six String Man") he does take time to pay his propers, especially in "Bluesman Gone To The Sky" with references to Albert Collins, Albert King, Luther Allison, Junior Wells, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and others. He pays special tribute to Allison, who he eventually jammed with, on "Luther." He happily dedicates "Cooking In The Kitchen" to Detroit's legendary Soup Kitchen Saloon where up-and-coming bluesmen have cut their musical teeth. Their is no shortage of enthusiasm -- or nicknames -- on this disc. Keith is accompanied by Milton "Heavy Foot" Austin on drums; Andrew "Mad Dog" Miles on guitar and Dennis "Big D" Debbaudt on bass. Keith can be reached at his website: www.badmanbluz.com|
This review is copyright © 1999 by Mike Martindale, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.