For those not familiar with the San Francisco American roots and R&B band Rhythmtown—Jive, then allow this writer to kindly share with you a true West Coast treasure.
"On the Main Stem" marks the third album from this eclectic bunch, which finds them in fine form and collaborating on seven cuts (writer of three) with keyboard legend Johnnie Johnson (Chuck Berry). It also features a cameo by East Coast R&B diva, Rahni Raines, and a full New Orleans-style horn section, which the band features annually at the Mardi Gras Mambofest.
Their boogie-woogie, jump blues along with a healthy dose of Nawlins’-style music has commanded opening/backing slots for the likes of Bo Diddley, Earl King, Lee Allen and Big Joe Turner.
Joining the party on this old-school Louisiana-style album is tenor saxophonist Rob Sudduth (Huey Lewis, Amos Garrett), trombonist Ed Early (Albert King), baritone saxophonist Michael Peloquin, lead vocalist/bassist Tim Eschliman (Commander Cody, Etta James) and drummer Jimmy Sanchez. Various other artists too numerous to mention also make musical contributions, but are mentioned in the CD’s liner notes.
Highlights include the rolling keyboard driven "Take It Easy Baby" and "Headin’ On Home," the Delta-inspired traditional "That Was Then, This Is Now" and "Boogie Woogie."
P.O Box 5523, Mill Valley, Calif., 94942
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.