Marking Lay's Telarc Blues recording debut, "Rush Hour Blues" features Nashville guitar slinger Fred James in the producer's chair and the lead guitar phrasing of Larry Burton. Heard on over 40 classic Chess blues recordings and a mainstay of the Howlin' Wolf band in their late 1950s heyday, Lay was part of the original Paul Butterfield Blues Band, before going solo to front his own groups.
A soulful and effective singer as well as an exceptional drummer, Lay is at home on ballads like "Second Man" and "Mama and Papa." But it's on up-tempo numbers "I Like Women" and "I'm Gonna Shoot Her" where he really begins to rumble. The title track is a rocker that invites blues fans of all genres to groove and contains a healthy portion of Lay's classic and BIG drum sound.
Keyboardist Celia Ann Price, bassist Bob Kommersmith and harpist Greg "Fingers" Taylor all provide solid accompaniment.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.