Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ruff Kutt Blues Band -- "That's When The Blues Begins"

The Ruff Kutt Blues Band is several things--a band with all-star players, from Texas, made up of people whom I have great love and respect for.

Let's start at the beginning. I fell in love with Finis Tasby's voice when I first heard it on Kirk Fletcher's cd "Shades of Blue" (Delta Groove, 2004). That was also where I first heard Janiva Magness, but that story will wait for another article. Shortly after that I stumbled over The Mannish Boys' cd "Lowdown Feeling" (Delta Groove, 2008) where Finis sings on three tracks. Ever since then I have been a fan of Kirk Fletcher and The Mannish Boys aggregate, and seeking Finis Tasby's name on liner notes for cds. I just love the way the man sings--he has a swinging delivery and a passion that helps sell every song to my ears. Well, this cd is the last one Finis Tasby will sing on. He had a debilitating stroke in December 2012.  

Luckily, this is a very fine cd to go out on. The band is top-notch, seasoned pros everywhere. Zac Harmon is on guitar and vocals, and Anson Funderburgh plays guitar and produced the cd, James Goode plays bass and wrote or co-wrote all the songs, with Wes Starr on drums, Ron Jones on sax, Gentleman John Street on keyboards, Steve Richardson brings harmony vocals, and Eric Przygocki plays upright bass. When you have that level of talent in the studio, the results almost have to be terrific--and this is a great one. Things start out with "Deep Elam Blues" and from that strong beginning all the way through to "When A Bluesman Goes To Heaven" the listener is taken on a wonderful ride through the blues.

The Ruff Kutt Blues Band has made two great cds--this one and 2011's "Mill Block Blues." In my own selfishness I'd love for them to keep on, but if because of the loss of Finis Tasby's singing voice this is all we get, I give thanks for the music they have made. In my mind, the Ruff Kutt Blues Band is already a true Texas treasure.

You can buy this cd at http://vizztone.com/ One dollar of every cd sold will be donated to the Finis Tasby Medical Fund. 

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