That you would be asked to open for blues acts like B.B. King, James Cotton, Robert Cray, Etta James, and a mess of others, including Sheryl Crow, says a whole lotta something about you and your music, and Rob Stone's had that honor while building an impressive legion of aficionados in Europe and Japan. The reason is easy to see and hear. Wait Baby, the opening cut to Gotta Keep Rollin', shows him to be a muscular harmonica player and a singer whose timbre and tone are sometimes evocative of Stevie Ray Vaughn with a jook joint pitch edged in.
A raucous Butterfieldy cut, the song showcases what a unit the guy's assembled, a rollin' cookin' ensemble with back alley stank and a boozey-eyed grin. The second number, though, is a Buster Poindexter / Louis Prima gig, a heel-kicking smiley faced morning-after reminiscence with Stone's harp in a more melodic but energetic conversational mood. If you're not up and dancing by the time the third verse hits, then, brother, chug some more of that Geritol and add a Romilar sidecar 'cause Folger's best just ain't doin' it for ya. Lucky 13 crashes in afterwards, and I'm reminded of Savoy Brown's post-Chris Youlden rockblues boogie days.
Anything Can Happen is a finger-snapping number, another dance hall jitterbug with a jive-fingered piano background by David Maxwell sitting beside a squawky sax in the hands of Eddie Shaw. As the promo sheet notes, a hell of a lot of this CD carries "more grooves and high-energy than the law should allow". She Belongs to Me lays things back for a bit, still spunky but, well, it's a love song but it ain't no hearts 'n flowers affair, Stone threatening to tear your face off, or something similar (I'm not totally sure 'cause I was running for my knife as soon as he started in), if you fool with his woman (I'm hoping one of my past live-ins never ran across him or I'm in trouble).
Strollin' with Sasquatch, an instrumental, is equally on the lo-down, though it has a kah-runchy refrain stomp. I was a little worried there too, 'cause I've had a coyote sleep-over or two, and if he's holding grudges for stuff like that as well, man, I needed to start making out my will. But no, the song was just a good excuse to do a little ZZ Toppin' with old Charlie Musselwhite's Chicago vibes mixed in. A jazzy blues, Not No Mo' closes the CD out and gives great hope…well,to me at least: Stone's callin' off his amorous impulses, at least for a few minutes, so maybe I can slip out the back door while he and the band are going to it, perhaps even make the county line before he finds out the waitress he's been hitting on all night is one of my used to be's.
Geez, who knew the blues were so dangerous?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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