Monday, March 29, 2010
The Mannish Boys "Shake For Me"
This is the Mannish Boys Five Year Anniversary as a band, and their fifth cd release--it seems hard for me to believe that
a.) there was a blues world not all that long ago which somehow existed without The Mannish Boys? and
b.) how did we get along without all these great songs?
Because the fact of the matter is that most of the songs the Mannish Boys have committed to disc since December 2004 were pretty obscure prior to The Mannish Boys reviving them. That was the reason for bringing the Mannish Boys into the Delta Groove world--for the sake of the songs. Remember that. There will be a quiz later.
The Mannish Boys make real blues music by people who love the blues as much as we do. They are a Los Angeles based blues band who record for Delta Groove Music. They play in the West Coast style, with occasional forays into 40s and 50s jump blues and Chicago blues. Returning on this release as the constants in the revolving door of great musicians who have been in the Mannish Boys are Randy Chortkoff on harmonica, Kirk "Eli" Fletcher and Frank "Paris Slim" Goldwasser on guitars, Finis Tasby, Bobby Jones and Johnny Dyer on vocals. New to this release is the rhythm section of Willie J Campbell on bass and Jimi Bott on drums, replacing Ronnie James Webber and Richard "Big Foot" Innes.
Anyway, this disc is great, just like all their other discs. All five cds have featured top-notch musicianship and great songs done with joy and respect and verve. This time out the highlights include Muddy Waters' "Champagne and Reefer" with a terrific piano line by Fred Kaplan and sung great by Johnny Dyer, Little Walter's "Last Night" with a great harp turn by guest Rod Piazza and vocals by Finis Tasby, and a really fun Bo-Diddleyish "Mona/Willie & the Hand Jive" by guest Mike Zito and Bobby Jones.
I listen to the Mannish Boys cds a lot, and I enjoy them all---but one disc I keep finding in my cd player is Kirk Fletcher's "Shades of Blue" from 2004 on Delta Groove. It features several members of what became the Mannish Boys--Kirk Fletcher, Finis Tasby, Ronnie James Webber, Richard Innes, with production by Randy Chortkoff. It's a really good cd. In fact, if there is an artist whose music you enjoy who plays for, or played for, or guested on a cd by The Mannish Boys, you should pick them up. It's a great franchise--everything is really good. I especially encourage everybody reading this to buy the cds by The Hollywood Fats Band and The Hollywood Blue Flames and Kim Wilson. You will thank me later.
The Mannish Boys music is available at http://www.themannishboys.com