FAME Review: The 44's - Americana
The 44's - Americana


The 44's

Rip Cat Records

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

This Blues, Roots and Rock outfit hails from Los Angeles and is a fixture in the clubs there and wherever knowing blues fans gather. Their high-energy stage show is attracting the attention of some of the luminaries of that scene such as Kid Ramos, Los Lobos and Rod Piazza. Kid plays guitar and co-produced Americana along with the band. This disc of intense, raw, and tough music, is comprised of 13 songs, all written by the band except for 4; one by Willie Dixon, one by Chester Burnett/Howlin' Wolf, and 2 were written by the band along with Kid Ramos. These songs draw mainly on influences of the Chicago, and the West Coast blues.

The band is comprised of Johnny Main on guitar and vocals, gritty and tasty often interacting and dueling with Kid Ramos' guitar, Tex Nakamura (formerly War), Mike Turturro, upright bass (formerly Lynwood Slim and Candye Kane), and J.R. Lozano handles the drums with a solid beat that just won't quit. Solid is one of the ways to describe the music of this group, other words associated with their music are dangerous, gritty, hard hitting, and throwback to the time of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. They are a group that if you close your eyes you are back in the dark smoky watering holes on the South Side of Chicago where the music of the hard times in the Delta became electrified in the city; even if you are seeing them outside at a festival.

This is a group that takes no prisoners, asks for no quarter and accepts nothing but the very best on every note they play. These raw and emotional songs show off their abilities in all ways; from conception of the idea to the finished product. It's not one good musician and several side men to fill up the sound but rather this is four rather exceptional musicians and when Kid takes a break from Los FabuLocos and plays with them (he is being treated for cancer right now) make that 5 strong leaders that play together harmoniously and seamlessly as a group. As good as this disc is, it does not compare to seeing the group live. For music this rough, harsh and course to flow this smoothly is just one of those stark contrasts that has to be heard and seen live to be appreciated.

Track List:

  • Hanging Tree
  • Lady Luck
  • Cocaine
  • Dixie
  • She's Poison
  • Pleading My Case
  • Mr. Operator
  • You'll Be Mine
  • Slip Slidn' Thang
  • 99 to Life
  • Hard Times
  • Mr. Highway Man
  • Hold On

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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