Second track in is the title track, we have an homage to blues and a city forever connected to the music that remains forever popular, Chicago a city of electric guitars and blues that hit your music soul.this is an album full of self-penned numbers, with the lyrics curling around the guitar and a rhythm section that adds power and knows when to be heard and when to step back into the background.
Every track has a riff, lick and general musical drive that certainly encourages foot tapping and nods of delight as they blend the music like a skilled cocktail maker so you have a hint of sweetness and a twirl of sharpness with power, jazz and funk all interplayed throughout the album. The musicians have timing that makes the blues sing, garnered from years of playing, Ryk Mead is the heartbeat of the sound being produced guitar, bass on some tracks and vocals all superb but the standout is the guitar work that is like molten metal being bent and channeled into the shape and soul of blues stretching back to its very origins.
Fooling Me Too Long ups the intensity with rock added to the mix this is power blues that makes you listen, whilst Blues Latino shows a lighter side with its hip swaying sultry Latino tempo this is border country music and not the one USA shares with Canada. Hurricane Blues, upping the tempo Texas fuelled blues and you can understand why Ryk’s is being labelled The Blues Hurricane. Closing with Cyprus Grove the guitar playing is full of tone and the whole slowed down blues sound just leaves you knowing that is blues played with delight, “Rather Drink Muddy Water, …. Rather be buried in some old Cyprus Grove …..” lyrics that just love the guitar work that is full of blues passion a great version of this Skip James’ track.
This is an eleven track album infused with the love, insight and understanding of the blues, how the timing works with an added bonus of many embellishments, changes in tempo and style and the mixing of the instrumental sounds so that every track has a reason to be on the Album Chicago. If you love your blues then this is an album that will not disappoint with lyrics that take you back whilst the music is fresh and contemporary.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Heartful of Misery
3. I’m Not Afraid
4. Put Away Your Blues
5. Fooling Me Too Long
7. Blues Latino
8. Walking In The Sun
9. Running Out Of Time
10. Hurricane Blues
11. Cyprus Grove
Guitars/Vocals/Percussion – Ryk Mead
Bass – Jake Libretto or Ryk Mead
Drums – Piers de Margarey or Jake Libretto