LIL' DAVE THOMPSON
C'MON DOWN TO THE DELTA
Standin' In The Rain, Call Me Baby, Caught Up In Crossfire, We Can Make It If We Try, Suitcase Packed, Pull Up To Your Bumper, Strung Out, C'mon Down To The Delta, I Got A Feelin', Cuttin' Loose, You At My Door, My Baby Won't Change.
Ten years after its first release, this reissue comes as a tribute to Lil' Dave Thompson who died in an auto accident in February. I loved it then and love it now.
This JSP CD followed Dave's brief association with Fat Possum Records where he didn't really fit in with the rough down-home styles of Junior Kimbrough and Charles Caldwell etc. Dave Thompson was rather more sophisticated, playing a more Albert King and Little Milton based blues melding their styles with the soulful strut of Robert Cray and the bite of Joe Louis Walker.
Most of the songs here are his own compositions, setting thoughtful lyrics to memorable tunes and the added extra emotional bite of crisp, fluid guitar. It's hard to pick out a favourite because they're all high quality but let's give you a flavour of the material.
Suitcase Blues kicks off with some high register string bending and slashing before dropping into a cool groove that allows Dave to smother the whole thing with a coating of blues-drenched innovative guitar while I Got A Feelin' slouches in with a rainy-night-in-Leland-Mississippi feel with the throbbing bass laying out the mood for Dave's smoky vocals and atmospheric guitar runs that scream and squeal in the solos.
Cuttin' Loose is a late-nite jazzy number that has Thompson cruising out into Larry Carlton territory while Mike Nunno's bass bops and pops all around the guitar lines. You At My Door is a funky workout that reminds me of the good old days when Albert King recorded with Booker T & The MGs at Stax. Dave opens it with a piercing splatter of hard blues notes in the Stevie Ray Vaughan vein before crashing into another frenetic flurry of fiery picking.
This is one of those modern black blues albums that cooks and is a must for fans of blues guitar. I'm sad that Lil' Dave has gone but thrilled that this CD is back in circulation.
Review Date: July 2010