Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review - "Too Faced" - James King & the Southsiders (Car Trunk Records)

By Malcolm Kennedy
You know James King from his long stint as one of the Big Rockin’ Daddies, and before with several other notable groups Now he is the front man of his own band, the 2011 Washington Blues Society Best of Blues Award winning Best New Band, James King and the Southsiders. From honking sax, satin vocals to wailing harp and top drawer showmanship Jim has got it all going and it is evident on his debut release Too Faced.

Photo By Laddy Kite
James barely put his crew (Steve Blood, guitar, Arlin Harmon, keyboards, vocals; Billy Spaulding, drums, vocals and Bermuda Dave, bass) when he brought them together to do a one-take demo with no over dubs. He brought the guys back later for Too Faced which includes five songs from the demo, and eight others that take you from Chicago to Texas by way of St Louis rocking all the way to Louisiana. From the squealing sax on the first cut “90 MPH” where Jim references James Brown to his dazzling blues harp closing out “Country Girl” the 13 selections, which clock in at over 70 minutes, are all keepers. My favorites include Jim’s sweet vocals on Chuck Calhoun’s (“Shake Rattle and Roll;” “Flip, Flop, Fly”) chestnut “Smack Dab in the Middle,” soul man Tyrone Davis’ “Zydeco Bugaloo,” which will have you up out of your chair and I never tire of another great version of Lowell Fulson’s classic “Reconsider Baby” rendered here with a touch of swing.

The Southsiders are in the studio putting together a follow-up CD packed with originals, so until that CDs out, go see this award winning band live. I highly recommend this year’s Too Faced – it’s got blues and rock and roll to satisfy your soul

Editor's note:  I don't have a purchase link to post. You'll have to catch them live to buy a CD, or contact them via their website at

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