Monday, May 25, 2015

Dave Specter -- "Message In Blue"

Dave Specter's 10th album, "Message In Blue" is a soulful and compelling collection of the Chicago blues he has played for the past 15+ years, and a solid serving of soul blues, and some great moments of R&B. It was released on May 20, 2014 on Delmark Records.

Specter is in wonderful form. His guitar work is clean and assured. And the veteran band--Harlan Terson (bass) and Marty Binder (drums) back him flawlessly. Guests on this set include the great Otis Clay (vocals) and Brother John Kattke (keyboards and vocals) and Bob Corritore (harmonica). Theresa Davis and Diane Madison add backup vocals on one song.

Things kick off with "New West Side Stroll," an updated version of Specter's 1995 instrumental track. The next two songs feature Otis Clay's soul vocal style on covers--he brings glorious life to Harold Burrage's "Got To Find A Way," featuring horns and that great Otis Clay magic. Then Clay adds sweet soul to "This Time I'm Gone For Good," a slow minor key blues recorded here as a tribute to Bobby Blue Bland. Then comes the title track, a very tasty instrumental in which Specter channels some melodic Jimi Hendrix. The next song is the name-dropping "Chicago Style," which features Kattke on piano and vocals, a full horn section and a very strong guitar break. From there, things return to Otis Clay and a great cover of Wilson Pickett's "I Found A Love," which is one of the highlights of the cd--everything about this track is superb--worth the price of the cd all by itself. Then a Specter original, "Funkified Outta Space," which he channels The Meters sound in all their New Orleans glory. Next up is a cover of the Don Nix-penned "Same Old Blues." I didn't really think  I needed another version of this one, but with vocals and piano by Kattke and killer guitar work by Specter--this one is better than Eric Clapton's version.

There are still five tracks to go, but I think you all get the idea--this is a great cd. You can buy this at


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