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FAME Review: Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King - Have Blues Will Travel
 
Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King - Have Blues Will Travel

Have Blues Will Travel

Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King

Alligator Records - ALCD 4937

Available from Alligator Records

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker
(progdawg@hotmail.com).

Smokin' Joe claims he brings the blues out of Bnois and that Bnois drags the jazz out of him, but, in Have Blues Will Travel, they both get down in the dirt and rock the joint from front door to back alley. There's a hell of a lot of Johnny Winter and ZZ Top to these gutbucket rumblers this time out, a celebration of grunting boogie, visceral stomp, and boozy sway. One gets the feeling that both decided grit was in danger in the blues world and, thus, kicked a mess of it back up from the gutter to dance like a brontosaurus in earthquake cadence.

Kubek whips out his slide more than once, and King frequently backs into lilting chord and lead rhythms (Payday in America) as John Morris applies a meaty bass beside Adrian Marchi's bloodpulse and headshake drumwork. Solos fly all over the place but there's also an unshakably strong determination not to lose the song on each track. Shadows in the Dark is an interestingly wistful pensée that more than a few of us have occasion to pause upon: do our past lovers think of us much, wonder where we are, what we're doing? The song doesn't attempt to answer the query, merely ponders the quandary, but, hey, you know and I know that we travel there every so often, no? On the other hand, My Guitar speaks to the one truly faithful element of a life, that which rivals the dog in unrivaled fidelity: the guitar.

King handles all vocals and, before meeting up with Kubek, hadn't given a thought to such...or to writing! Once they joined forces, though, someone had to warble, and Bnois encountered crowds wildly enthusiastic with his pipes, so, naturally, stories also needed to be told. That brought the quill out of his pocket, and the collaboration was well cemented. This CD is the latest in a line of endeavors, finding them again on the prestigious Alligator imprint, but it will be a mite surprising to you just how primal things get before the ruckus dies down.

Track List:

  • Have Blues, Will Travel (Gurevich / Kubek / King)
  • Got You out of my Blood (P. Kubek / King / J. Kubek)
  • Out of Body, Out of Mind (Petty / Iglauer / Kubek / King)
  • RU4 Real? (Kubek / King)
  • Payday in America (Hecht / Kubek / King)
  • Shadows in the Dark (Gurevich / Kubek / King)
  • My Space or Yours? (Iglauer / Kubek / King)
  • Sleeping with One Eye Open (Gurevich / Kubek / King)
  • My Guitar (Kubek / King)
  • One Step at Time (Kubek / King)
  • Wishful Thinking (Gurevich / Kubek / King)
  • What a Sight to See (Kubek / King)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

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Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
 
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