Stereophile applauds, “…a recording to die for…R&B and early rock, but with a totally modern sensibility…one hell of a performance.” These guys take a gritty approach to that magic moment when the blues turned into rock ’n‘ roll. Whop Frazier sings Motown-steeped, bluesy vocals on classics from Wilson Pickett, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Reed. A vividly raw blues/rock quartet led by wailing electric guitar and raunchy tenor sax raise hell behind him. Bound For Sound calls it, “…a howling good time…Recording of Merit.”Includes hits “Woke Up This Morning,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Mustang Sally” and “Why I Sing The Blues.”
1. Woke Up This Morning (B.B. King) -Listen to Full Song
2. No Particular Place To Go (C. Berry) -Listen to Sample
3. Alberta (D. Small) -Listen to Sample
4. Mustang Sally (M. Rice)
5. Some Kind Of Wonderful (Pomus/Shuman)
6. 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do (P.Grainger/O.Spann)
7. Sweet Home Chicago (R.Johnson)
8. Bright Lights, Big City (J. Reid)
9. My Baby's A Superstar (B. Guy)
10. How Blue Can You Get (J. Feather)
11. Rock Me Baby (King/Kosea)
12. Night Life (W. Nelson)
13. Why I Sing The Blues (B.B. King)
Recorded live at DC's Bad Habits Cafe, this rollicking set spans the distance from jump blues to Motown with U-R-There directness that'll have you screaming, "Where's muh waitress?" This hard-rocking quartet features Whop Frazier (great name!) On bass and vocals, "Junior" Tash on guitar, Jay Corder on sax, and Dennis Hash on drums - they have a kind of retro/roots/soul-slam groove going, if you know what I mean.
No? Well, they focus on that nexus of R&B and early rock, but with a totally modern sensibility; they aren't a purist band trying to re-create any genre, but rather a modern band that has assimilated all that's come before them and decided to just use the most essential components of that stew. Still not clear? I guess you had to be there.
Which is exactly what this recording feels like. Sprey has recorded the group with uncanny immediacy. There's the obligatory 60Hz hum coming from the PA, which is distinct from the direct sound of the instrumental amplifiers - and when Tash switches on his amp's reverb plate, it doesn't get confused with the real ambience of the room one jot. The recording captures Corder's sax's honks, squeals, and buzzes with startling physicality, and the drums have that snap! Overlaying the dull thunk of their bodies that you never hear on disc.
But the centerpiece, the focus of it all, is Frazier - half intimate soul singer, half blues shouter - who pulls the songs along vocally while pushing them forward with his bouncy, bubbling bass. Tash is everywhere on this recording, a real master of the Stratocaster, and his fills, solos, and rhythm work are electrifying.
This is one hell of a performance, given a recording to die for. I'm taking it with me to CES, where I'll be easy to find. Find a room with a party in it and I'll bet Bad Influence and I will be there. -from QuarterNotes by Wes Phillips