Monday, January 7, 2008

Review: Charles "Big Daddy" Stallings-- "Blues Evolution"

I recently received in the mail the latest cd by Charles "Big Daddy" Stallings--"Blues Evolution." (2007, Tai Jeria Record Co) When I put the cd in the stereo and hit PLAY I was instantly swept away by the sound--this is a blues band with a big sound! "Big Daddy" and this band have been playing the Baltimore/Washington DC circuit for a while now, and they know how to bring the blues to an audience. "Big Daddy" plays guitar and sings. The keyboards are by Bill Pratt, aided on a few cuts by Glenn Workman on piano. Excellent harmonica work by Mark Wenner of the Nighthawks. Gail Parrish plays bass and Ron Jenkins is on drums. The horn section is Joe "E Flat" Thomas on trumpet and Kelvin O'Neal on sax, and these guys are a highlight of the disc--they really sizzle and swing. This disc seems made for a hot Friday night party. I really like the vocals--"Big Daddy" has an impressive delivery, sort of how I imagine Jimmy Reed would sound with a modern band backing him. That said, the lyrics are sometimes weak. But the energy this band brings covers that nicely.

"Big Daddy" represented the Baltimore Blues Society at the IBC in Memphis in 2006, and they will represent the DC Blues Society at IBC this year for "Best Self Produced CD."

All in all, a very fine effort.

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