New Blues Revolution
To Hellendale and Back
This five-song EP opens with "Souls on Fire," a slow shuffle with psychedelic overtones and ominous, cryptic vocals from Bill Grisolia, all adding up to a vibe that recalls Jim Morrison and the Doors. "Black Widow" is also a shuffle but much bluesier and with a hint of psychobilly, but then again Grisolia's vocals give (almost) every song a delightful ready-to-come-unhinged edge. Ironically Grisolia does not apply his vocal talent to EP closer "Sunset Psycho Twang;" it is an instrumental.
Golden State - Lone Star Blues Revue
This band with the rather lengthy name features some very accomplished players; Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty on guitars, Mark Hummel on blues harp and the rhythm section of drummer Wes Starr and bass man R.W. Grigsby. And the guys have a sound as big as their combined resumes that shines on cuts like a buoyant cover of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's "Midnight Hour," Lowell Fulson's sassy "Check Yourself" and Hummel originals like the swinging "Cool to Be Your Fool," the twangy and appropriately '50s-leaning "Lucky Kewpie Doll" and the very slow and smoky "End of the World." Guest players on sax, piano and organ help out the all-stars throughout.
The Arson's Match
Former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor guests on this live album but that should not overshadow the fact that Karp is a fine guitarist and singer himself, and he also wrote all the material here, highlighted by fun sing-along cuts like "Gee Chee Gee Chee Wawa" and Fabulous Thunderbirds-style dance floor-packers like "Y'all Be Lookin'" and "The Nietzsche Lounge." Karp and Taylor have a guitar duel of sorts on "Rolling on a Log" but it is Dennis Gruenling's harmonica playing that takes the spotlight in album closer "Train O'Mine." The Arson's Match will be well-received by long time Karp fans but it's also a very nice intro for those yet to be initiated.
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