Hm, a blues trio, which is not the usual configuration, so the guitar player had better be damn good...and he is, oh how he is!, not to mention possessed of a great singing voice dipped in funky honey. Makes sense, as his axe is a melodious hornet buzzing and zagging all over the studio in sweet lament lines. Ricky Gene Hall, y'all, was born in the blues but got soul sauce poured all over him in the process, and this is one righteous collection of songs beautifully melding the two with not a trace of pretense or puffery.
In more ways than one, his instrumental phrasing reminds me of Ernie Isley's minus the psych infusion, smooth, constant, and wailing, constantly inventive while observing the basics. Sitting atop a pulsating rhythm section, each track is vibrant with authentic dirty white blues meeting black traditions. Hall injects a wryness in his lyrics that's reminiscent of Elvin Bishop's work, but, oh man, that guitar! Take the title cut, a bouncing song about the regrets of getting involved in life's rough stuff that brings a knowing grin to any male, and, just as a guffaw rises to the lips, Hall's axe comes sailing in, cutting through flesh and bone to make the marrow cry out "Damn, that's fine!!"
Place this group in with The Nighthawks, Jim Suhler & Monkeybeat, and a bunch of really fine ensembles cranking out superb blues for the discerning and demanding listener, material good enough to make the mainliners in major labels sweat but not yet sufficiently fortunate to cruise into the right industry ears. Should Alligator catch onto Bam!, I see a rapid signing in the offing…but, hm, come to think of it, I haven't heard from that label in a while. Are they still up and running? If so, tell 'em to run this way.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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