Monday, June 2, 2014

Little Mike & The Tornadoes -- "All The Right Moves"

Little Mike & The Tornadoes are New York based and play a tough Chicago-style blues. Their last disc, 2013's "Forgive Me," was a hard-hitting set that featured ten Mike Markowitz original songs and one cover, and great harmonica playing on each song. After hearing that cd, it was easy to get excited about their next one! This set brings back original Tornadoes Tony O Melio (guitar), Brad Vickers (bass), Rod Piazza (drums) and adds Jim McKaba (piano) with Little Mike (harmonica and vocals). Again most of the songs are written by Mike--there are two covers. The playing is crisp throughout, and the vibe is energetic. Little Mike's harp is upfront, propulsive and fat-toned, great Chicago style playing. His singing is really solid.  The rhythm section of Piazza and Vickers bring every song to life. It seems like those two have played together for years--tight and loose at the same time and always squarely "in the pocket." McKaba's piano lifts each song higher--especially his right hand on the title track. And Tony O is simply spot-on everywhere. He might be the best traditional Chicago blues style guitar player anywhere right now. His work on "Blues Is Killing Me" is alone worth the cost of the entire set. My take on it? The title of this cd is the truth--All The Right Moves indeed. Great work from everybody beginning to end.

When my wife and I moved to Atlanta in 2007 one of the things that helped me feel better was the music of The Breeze Kings. For months I listened to their music nearly every day--and I still love their 2003 release "You Got To Bring Some To Get Some" (Veritone Records). As I thought about starting this blog again, Little Mike & The Tornadoes "All The Right Moves" was the cd I wanted to review first--these guys remind me of The Breeze Kings in the best way.

You can buy this cd at

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