A boatload of blues
Reviewed December 2008
By The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue
Delta Groove: 2008
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Revue is a collection of gifted musicians who can be best described as a blues jam band. Built around Northern California guitarist Tommy Castro's band, and including a full brass section, the group takes in keyboardist/vocalist Deanna Bogart, ex-J. Geils’ band harp whiz Magic Dick, Chicago-based vocalist and superb blues guitarist Ronnie Baker Brooks and other guests. "Command Performance," their new disc, chronicles a 2007 live tour which included dates on a cruise ship.
At first listen, it is little wonder that most of the musicians here front their own bands and have albums out on their own. Brooks in particular shines on blistering guitar and vocal performances, especially on the opener, "Can't You See," "See You Hurt No More" and Muddy Waters' "She's Nineteen Years Old."
Castro is also a strong vocalist and steady hand on the guitar, laying down some dirty licks on "If I Had a Nickel," "I Feel That Old Feeling Coming Coming On" and other cuts. Many tracks give all hands on deck an opportunity to take a few bars to show their oats, including Magic Dick on several, including a couple of familiar Geils trademark tunes, "Whammer Jammer" and "Looking For a Love."
Bogart, another strong vocalist, is up front on "Still the Girl in the Band" and a great cover of "Will it Go Round in Circles." Elvin Bishop sits in on "High on the Hog," one of seven soloists in the extended jam. The 13 songs clock in at over 76 minutes, and feature six different lead vocalists, but the band is tight and everyone is having a blast. By the time Bogart finishes with "Sea Cruise," you wish you were there enjoying the "Command Performance" in person. This is good-time, rollicking music from start to finish.
Review by Frank Kocher, a longtime San Diego resident, musician, music collector and frequent contributor to The San Diego Troubadour.