Raven and company hail from Wisconsin and is a five-piece band performing with the traditional lineup of keyboard, guitar, drum, bass and harmonica on original songs against traditional blues grooves.
Although the harmonica playing on 1998's "Slow Burn" is handled by "Cadillac" Pete Rahn, currently blowing the harp for Raven is Madison Slim, former sideman with Jimmy Rogers and the Legendary Blues Band. Which may be a good thing, but Rahn sure blows a fine harp here and is the albums highlight.
Raven begins this serving with "Caesar's Salad," an up-tempo instrumental that highlights Rahn's righteous harmonica playing and the fine drumming of Vic "Caesar" Span. "Creature of Habit" finds the boys returning back to what they do best; traditional 4/4 blues with harmonica exchanging fills opposite guitar and supported around gruff vocals. This theme resurfaces again on a decent cover of Chester Arthur "Howlin' Wolf" Burnett's "Louise." Others found on "Slow Burn" include rhythm guitarist Jeff "Devil" Roberts, Hammond B3 organist Ron "Bad Back" Kovach and bassist Brad "Blue" Bill.
5455 Root River Drive, Greendale, Wis., 53129, (414) 421-8874
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.