BOBBY JONES FEATURING THE MANNISH BOYS
COMIN' BACK HARD
Delta Groove (DGPCD129)
Long time blues fans may remember Bobby Jones from the 1950s as vocalist in The Aces, the band formed by legendary blues brothers Dave and Louis Myers, or maybe from the ‘60s as guest vocalist with Mike Bloomfield and Charlie Musselwhite and their band Chicago Blues Union. During the last few years he's been playing live and guesting on CDs with The Mannish Boys and recently Delta Groove producer Randy Chortkoff decided it was time Bobby headlined his own album so here it is.
It's not difficult to see why Delta Groove wanted Bobby on CD. His voice is the real thing - blasting out the tough blues with the same dynamics and urgent power of BB King and Bobby Bland yet capable of adding some silky, smoky tones on the smouldering after-hours material.
Kid Ramos, Kirk Eli Fletcher, Finis Tasby and Richard Inness from The Mannish Boys joined pianist Fred Kaplan, guitarist Junior Watson and the two harp players Al Blake and Lynwood Slim in the band and with a line-up like that, you need great material so Bobby hand picked his favourites from Hank Ballard, Willie Dixon, Ike Turner, Mel London, BB King and Junior Parker - songs that really suit his style. The tunes range from the uptempo soul-based She's The One, the sleazy loping groove of Come In Out Of The Rain and the tired resignation of I Don't Know which gels deliciously with the street wise advice handed out in Three Handed Woman and the slow simmering How Long Will It Last.
Bobby and The Mannish Boys are terrific musicians who have put the weight of their years of experience and musical superiority behind this CD. If you want masterful guitar wrangling - it's here and if you want great blues vocalisation - you get that too. This is one of the best contemporary blues albums I've heard this year.
Review Date: November 2009