Released in 1998, "The Blues in Black and White" is filled with doses of rolling piano and organ playing, Chicago-style guitar and some of the finest trumpet, flugelhorn and saxophone blowing heard on record in quite some time.
Greg "The Hammer" Haugesaug (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Merlin "Bronco" Brunkow (saxophone) do a fine job of lying down subtle phrasing and soloing throughout the 50+ minute 11 track CD. In fact they are the highlight of the CD.
"I feel so good," vocalist/guitarist Wilson says on his self-penned liner notes. "It's true that quality people give you quality performances. And the musicians on this album are some of the best in the business, personally and professionally…you can just feel their soulfulness, their joy, in playing these many varieties and shades of blues. It is as it should be."
Joining the session is keyboardist/organist John Beach, bassist Charlie Hayes and drummer Tom Allison. Editing, mastering and overdubs on "The Blues in Black and White" is handled by Todd "Mr. Magic" Fitzgerald and Shane "Javaman" Backstone.
Much of this CD consists of mellow and laid-back tunes reflecting on broken hearts and lost romances. On the CDs ending cut, "Modern Day Blues," Wilson sings: "When you're gone will anybody care. Will anybody cry? … Life can be harsh in these modern day blues. We've got to help one another. Reach out your hands to help your brother, brother."
E-mail the band at: email@example.com
This review is copyright © 1999 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.