Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Big Rockin’ Boogie" - Becki Sue & Her Big Rockin’ Daddies! (Underworld Records)

Review by - Mark Dalton

Big Rockin' BoogieWhat a treat. Simply put, Becki Sue and Her Big Rockin’ Daddies!’ new album, “Big Rockin’ Boogie”, is their best release yet. Fans of this hard working Northwest band are gonna love this collection, as it offers up heaping helpings of everything we love about them - and folks that are picking up on the BRDs for the first time are gonna love it too, if they know good music and good blues.

For starters, Becki Sue continues her remarkable development as a blues artist and an entertainer, and the evidence is right here to prove it. Becki has always been gifted with a rich, powerful voice, but she really comes into her own as a stylist with this CD – and she’s got a rocket in her pocket and she’s rarin’ to go! When Becki growls “something bad might happen to you” on “Neighbor Tend To Your Business,” you hope they’re listening. Great singing throughout, but I was especially pleased to hear her really pushing herself on songs like “Can’t Stop These Teardrops” – Becki has never stopped growing as an artist in all the years that I’ve known her; she just keeps on pushing!

There are great guitarists who can play the blues, and then there are great BLUES GUITARISTS. Tom Boyle is the latter – and he is one of my favorite blues guitarists from anywhere, any time, because Tom has taken a giant gumbo of blues influences and slowly, lovingly simmered it down over the years into a sound that is unique, instantly recognizable, and strong enough to make your hair stand on end! Tom’s playing is as soulful as it gets (the ghost of Magic Sam points the way at times) and it takes a lifetime of work to learn to wring this kind of music out of a guitar. Check out the solos on “Rocket” “What Have I Done Wrong,” or “I’d Walk A Mile” and you’ll hear what I mean.

Jim King’s raunchy tenor playing, sly vocals, and the fat horn arrangements by the late, lamented Robbie Jordan deserve kudos here too, as does the piano and organ tracks from guests David Vest and Ron Weinstein. The rhythm section: Les White blows me away on that stand-up bass – doing stuff that’s hard enough on a Fender bass and making it sound easy! Jeff Hayes is rock solid on drums; the extensive work he’s done with players in the Mississippi Delta really shines here – Nothin’ but the blues! Like I said earlier – this CD has heaping helpings of everything we love about this band – great playing, soulful, serious blues, Big Fun and Big Rockin’ Boogie! Pick it up – you can’t go wrong!

Preview and purchase songs from the album Big Rockin' Boogie by Becki Sue and Her Big Rockin' Daddies.