This is the second CD from Rockin' Daddy & the Rough Cuts (Straight Shooter was released in 1993). Although the line-up is a bit different, here again accomplished musicianship and a deep understanding of tradition result in a "real deal" recording, providing a glimmer of hope in a musical genre that has recently seen its share of departures from the roots of all things blue. All tunes are originals, although "C.O.D." originally appeared on the 1991 cassette "I Can't Stop It" by guitarist Dan Schwalbe's former band, Blues Deluxe.
Front man Steve Grosshans brings authenticity to his harp playing and has a relaxed yet confident vocal delivery, never forcing his vocals or allowing them to sound contrived. In his 25+ years playing the blues, Dan Schwalbe has mastered every lick you've ever heard, and even some you haven't (no, really!). The guitar passages seem to just tumble out of him-one after another in succession-some with a bounce, some with a sting, all with incredible taste. Marty "It's-All-in-the-Wrists" Bryduck is a first-class drummer, providing the steady simmer that keeps the Rough Cuts cookin'. Dave Sanny is the bedrock of the band, sealing their chemistry and laying the bass line down straight-just the way it should be. The band is also aided and abetted here by two fine piano men: Lamont Cranston veteran Bruce McCabe (now playing with Jonny Lang), and Mike "The Hook" Deutsch. Highlights of this CD include the medium-tempo shuffle "Yes, She Sends Me" (often referred to as a "flat tire" in these parts) and the slow, Fats Domino-flavored "Why Do I Stay". And don't miss the lyrics on the jumpin' "Wiggle and Wobble", Schwalbe's ode to the female dancers who "hit the floor, spinnin' like a top". We've all seen them ... it's about time someone wrote a song about those amazing gals!
You can pick up the CD at the Electric Fetus or any of the band's gigs.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Ann Wickstrom, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.