This one starts out like a set of thrown daggers in a murky smoke-filled barroom. Nick Schnebelen launches knives from a spitting guitar as sister Danielle wails loud and sassy atop her own bass playing, a siren call to wake the drunk from their slumbers, setting ears afire while warming more primal embers a few feet below. Bad Woman Blues sets up a sliding Bo Diddley riff with Nick taking over the vocals as the third Schnebelen sibling, Kris, plies the traps in a way that recalls the work of the disc's producer, the famed Tony Braunagel (Backstreet Crawler, Bloontz, Crawler, etc.). Whence came this talent in such a unique trio? Well, a glance at the song credits gives a hint: sire Bob Schnebelen penned two of the release's twelve tracks, It would be Nice and Evil Train. Like father, like son, son, and daughter.
TUF's coin of the realm is proven in the fact that the band has risen quickly, striding from enthusiastic hometown (Kansas City) crowds to take first place in the 2008 International Blues Challenge while Nick copped the Albert King Guitarist Award. Hardly surprising that they then attracted Mike Finnegan, Kim Wilson, and Johnny Lee Schell to their slab. Just one slice of the disc at any point, though, shows why the ensemble encountered little resistance no matter where they went: all have been soaked in the blues since birth, reinforcing the primal groove in one another. I mean, where the hell else will you find a family boasting two strong vocalist-instrumentalists, neither of which need back down from the other, while sitting in a concatenation where all the bases are well covered in a third family member? Hell, neither Johnny & Edgar nor Gregg & Duane could make the same boast!
But, yep, what you get here is a rockin' collection of blazing blues with a ballad or two and plenty of mean licks and caterwauls well presented on the VizzTone imprint, another in a processional of the label's finds. For such a stripped sown configuration, the sound fills the room, denting the walls with soulful intensity. Part of that comes from Danielle's roots in Etta James, but it doesn't take long before you realize that all three members of Trampled Under Foot walk the world with blue souls, and there just ain't no damn way the culture at large can stand against that. TUF goes a long distance towards yanking back the dirty white blues sound -- the one the Brits set so well for so long—back to these shores. Along with past and present efforts from Walter Trout, Jim Suhler, and others, they just might succeed at keeping it here, too. The Fool shows how well they put the affair on a freight car back to Chicago and re-invest the black roots of the style…so take that, Eric, T.S., Stan, and all you esteemed bad-asses!, there's a new generation champing at the bit, and you can confidently pass the baton.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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