Big Joe and the Dynaflows - Rockhouse Party
The album title ain't lyin'; the latest from drummer and singer Big Joe Maher and his band is a great party starter. Whether steering the band through the shuffling "Driving Wheel," keeping a Muddy Waters-like beat while bassist Tom "Mookie" Brill sings "So Mean to Me" or letting the band boogie on down the road to the self-penned dance instrumental (and guitar showcase for Yates Kendree and Robert Frahm) "Overdrive," Joe and the 'Flows bring big fun throughout. Another highlight is "I'm a Country Boy," a blues rocker extoling the rural lifestyle, slightly colored by a fondness for moonshine. The set closes with a smoldering interpretation of Percy Mayfield's "Two Years of Torture."
Stringshot - Blues & Latin
Here's something different for blues fans. Stringshot is a trio consisting of blues slide guitar master Roy Rogers, Brazilian guitarist Badi Assad and South American stringed harp player and violinist Carlos Reyes. The collision of their talents is delightful, recalling Jean-Luc Ponty on "Blues for Brazil," heating up the dance floor with the instrumental Rogers showcase "Back to Havana" and sounding absolutely sublime with the cuts that Assad lends her sensuous voice to, like the breathy "Still Livin' in a Memory" and the aching "God Prayed It" which was written by Rogers and Jason Newsted, formerly of Metallica. "Back along the Way" is the one cut here that fits with the traditional definition of blues, but open minded fans will find a very satisfying listen, particularly in the wee hours.
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