Chicago native Grebb, 53, is best known for his work with Bonnie Raitt. However, he's also cut sessions with Leon Russell, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Willie Nelson, Otis Rush, Rosanne Cash and many others. He started as a kid, playing behind the Dells, then Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield. He hit the charts in 1967 with the Buckinghams and later wound up with the Fabulous Rhinestones.
"Smooth Sailin'" provides a road map for anyone looking for contemporary blues music's southern roots. Thirteen vibrant tracks written or co-written by Grebb present a seamless blend of his blues and R&B grooves with country, gospel and pop music.
Standouts include the rock-tinged "High Wire Water," the languid "Mississippi Muddy Water," and the deceptively relaxed and polished "On the Lookout." Bolstered by a top-notch supporting cast, "Smooth Sailin'" also features "Soul Mate," a swampy, roots-rock duet with Raitt.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.