Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Insufficient Funds" - Blue Five Five (Self-released)

By Malcolm Kennedy 
Glen Stewart has two bands on Insufficient Funds: on six tracks recorded at Fasttrax Studios, he has Dave Thorp on bass, Ralph Waters on drums, and Ron Weinstein on the Hammond B-3; on the remaining seven, he has Lissa Ramaglia on bass, Andy O on drums, and Scotty Harris on sax, recorded at Jimmy Free Studios.

In the liner notes Glen states that "This CD is far from perfect, but at some point I had to move on." And I heartily concur; but I will say this CD definitely has its' moments of brilliance. The project has been a long and drawn out one, going on some eight or ten years in the making, and maybe more. In his live shows, Glen features a mixture of styles: from rock to blues, and even surf music. Glen covers material as varied as Bo Diddley, Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, and Freddie King.

One of the tracks that stand out for me is the original instrumental "Candy," which showcases Scotty Harris' honking sax with Glen on some spine tingling slide. Glen's take on "Going Down" is inspired, and again aided by the stellar sax playing of Scotty Harris. The title track is a medium paced blues shuffle with a subject that really is all too familiar to working blues men and women. Another original instrumental is "Evening Blues," with some T-Bone Walker licks and some slinky sax. Glen closes the CD with an instrumental reprise of Buddy Guy's "100 Bill," and this almost has a rocking surf thing going on. Some things don't work so well on this CD; but when they do, the CD works very well.

You can sample songs from the CD at Blue55.com

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