Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ian Siegal and The Youngest Sons -- "The Skinny"

First, a few lines of apology to you, dear readers--I have been focused elsewhere for about the past three weeks. As I indicated in my last post here, I am now presenting two hours weekly of Texas Blues on the internet radio station It can be heard every Thursday from 4-6pm eastern time. There have been many things I had to learn to make this project work--mostly having to do with figuring out how to load and store enough Texas Blues music into my Dell laptop that I could do a show from it. My personal blues library totals about 400 cds, but only part of those could be classified as Texas Blues. So it was great earlier today when I wandered into my local independent record store, Decatur CD, and when I left a little while later I had a sack of GOOD STUFF for the radio show. (And no food money for the next week, but sometimes that's the price you pay.) I've built up almost a thousand songs in the laptop, and I feel pretty good about the progress of the radio show. It was amazing to discover that I am investing about 8 hours a week to do a 2 hour radio show, but I am loving the results. So the frequency of my blogging has fallen some--but I want to jump back on that horse starting today, and I want to showcase a cd that deserves your ears: Ian Siegal and the Youngest Sons "The Skinny." I mean, after all--it was the #2 cd of 2011 according to Mojo magazine and the Nugene Records website! This is one of those cds that takes a few listens to show its true power. I listened to it once last winter & it didn't move me...but that was my fault. As I kept circling back around and listening to it I finally began to "get" Ian Siegal's vocals. On his previous records I've had trouble with his singing style, but starting with "2009's "The Dust" he is growing on me. Let me tell you, "The Skinny" is a really good cd. Siegal sings his ass off here, and he is backed by a truly great band--Cody Dickinson (on drums, bass, boogie board, backing vocals and percussion, and he produced the cd), Garry Burnside, (on bass, vocals, rhythm guitar), Robert Kimbrough (on rhythm & lead guitar), and Rodd Bland (on drums). Without a doubt, these guys can all flat out play the deep blue Hill Country Mississippi blues music like no one else--they have been playing it since they were children--and their work on this disc is TIGHT, with a side dose of telepathic. The cd was recorded at Zebra Ranch Studios at Coldwater Mississippi. Add to the mix Mr Siegal on guitar and vocals and talents like special guests Alvin Youngblood Hart, Andre Turner and DuWayne Burnside, and you've got a band who can, to quote a man who ought to know about it, (the honorable Donald "Duck" Dunn) "turn goat piss into gasoline." And they do. If you are a fan of the Hill Country blues, this is a natural choice. But if you love Moreland and Arbuckle, or if you love Derek & the Dominos, or almost anybody in between, this cd will find a home in your cd player. I'm just sorry I didn't catch on to it several months ago--I could have had "Natch'l Low (Coolin' Board)" in my head, especially Robert Kimbrough's wicked good guitar solo. I could have been enjoying "Garry's Night Out," with Garry & Ian on dueling acoustic slide guitars, sounding exactly like this year's equivalent to the great duet by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman on "Mean Old World." Oh well, better late than never. Highly recommended. You can buy this cd at

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