This is a jump blues record, the blues with a healthy dose of swinging jazz, from the mid section of the country, and it is quite well done. This is a music that is associated with the speakeasies and the jumpin' jazz that came up river from New Orleans in the 30's through the 50's. Dave Gross knows his jump blues and he is an exceedingly proficient guitarist in that vein. He is really helped along on this disc by the far more than capable Duke Robillard playing second guitar on three cuts and using his long experience playing the blues as the producer. Some of Duke's usual cronies, that he has used for eons on numerous recordings play a big part here, musicians such as; Doug "Mr. Low" James on Tenor and Baritone sax, Al Basile on Cornet, and Dona Oxford on Piano and Organ.
Gross has tunes on here written by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, "Hot Lips" Page, T-Bone Walker, and Henry Creamer/Turner Layton, and all the rest of the 13 were written by him, and if you just use your ear you aren't going to be able to separate the old from the new. His songs have that feel of the period and genre of music down to the last notes. Probably he was helped a great deal having such a solid band behind him and such a knowledgeable proponent of the music as his producer. His voice needs some seasoning that should come with time, it just hasn't been through the wear and tear necessary to sell the hard times yet. When he sings in the 'gravelly' voice it doesn't sound quite natural, but the natural singing voice for this music is one that time will show him.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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