Saturday, February 4, 2012

Review "Tastes Like Chicken" - Bad Influence (Badblues Records)

By Suzanne Swanson 
Washingtonian (as in District of Columbia, the “other” Washington) Magazine hails Bad Influence as "a part of a long and worthy Washington blues tradition." With an award for best blues band, in 2003 by the Washington Area Music Association, Bad Influence has garnered a devoted following.

Eleven of the 12 songs on this CD are penned by band members Michael ‘Jr’ Tash, Roger Edsall, Bob Mallardi, and David Thaler. “Love Dot.com” jumps right into it, literally, with a tale about a married man’s best friend in this computer age. “Don’t Forget Your Nightclothes” moves smoothly along with background sax from Jay Corder with Michael Tash on guitar. We can see why this group is so popular on “She What?” and audiences are guaranteed finger-snapping blues and boogie, coupled with shout-out hooks that keep on coming. “Road House” and “B-Flick Man”, allow us to smile at our own foibles while keeping the beat bright.

Sliding into a slow blues “Talkin’ To the Wall,” with a nice wailing sax solo, speaks to the pain and futility of trying to salvage a relationship past its “pull date.” On “DC Driver” we are up and dancing, or driving far too recklessly, with this story about road rage in the nation’s Capital. After “Break Out” we move to a solid bass line that slips easily into “When I’m With You.” “Run to The Money” moves along to dove-tail into the instrumental “Cat Fight,” showing off the skills of Roger Edsall on harp, Bob Mallardi on stand-up bass, and David Thaler on drums. The finishing touch is a very capable cover of a James Harmon tune, “The Clown.” Having heard Harmon perform this myself, it had me smiling and bobbing my head in appreciation. Well done, fellas!

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