Thursday, May 28, 2009

John Nemeth: "Love Me Tonight" *****

John Nemeth brings the goods on this, his second cd on Blind Pig. His previous disc, "Magic Touch," was one of my favorites from 2007. Here he is more confident....and tougher. In the blues these days the guitar is front and center. But as Nappy Brown showed us, this music is first and foremost made up of songs, stories made believable by the singing. And how many blues artists out there WANT the microphone in their hands at crunch time? Nemeth sings the hell out of everything here, and he plays an awesome overdriven harmonica. All the songs on this disc but one are originals, even though everything here sounds on the edge of familiar. With a touch of Sam Cooke's spirit, Bobby Welsh on guitars and keyboards, June Core on drums, Dmitry Gorodetsky and Kedar Roy on bass, Nemeth spins out every song so that it is powerful and believable. I especially enjoy "Fuel For Your Fire" and "Blues In My Heart," two tracks that would just sound silly if sung by lesser singers. in Nemeth's hands they are highlights. Elvin Bishop guests on guitar on two tracks.

I have been looking forward to this release for a long time, and "Love Me Tonight" is worth the wait. An impressive disc.

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