Saturday, February 24, 2007

Kevin Phillips & The It Men - Big Chop Suey

Here is my introduction to a band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada called Kevin Phillips & The It Men. These guys have a sound as smooth as hot butter and left me saying wow. To say I enjoyed this music would be the understatement of the year. These guys have a great sound and should do very well. This cd is titled Big Chop Suey and shows that these cats came to play. They are dishing out awesome music from start to finish.

They open with Gravy Train, a cool slow shuffle type song with very neat lyrics. The piano solo in this song leads to a great sax solo and both are outstanding. Next up is the title track, Big Chop Suey. This song has a beat that could make a corpse dance, just great. New Shoes is next and represents a look at the humor of these guys. Who would have thought a new pair of shoes could walk off the blues? Next they give us a song we can all relate to in Couch Potato Day. This song relates the thoughts of a man who just wants a day to relax and not be bothered with any form of activity, including giving his wife some lovin’. A really neat humorous ditty this one is, set to a slow shuffle rhythm.

Next is D.W.’s Pastiche, a song with a neat rhythm and great groove. The jazz influence on this number is very evident and welcome. Change Me follows and is another modified shuffle sounding tune. It features a medium slow tempo and great lyrics. I really enjoy this next fast medium paced shuffle called Porter. As train songs go this one is great. They give us several time changes and some very neat chord progressions. I found myself listening to this many times as I was struck by the unique arrangement and time changes. Kitchen is next, and shows a neat melding of jazz and blues sounds not seen much since the golden days of the 50’s. This is a very welcome and enjoyable sound. My personal favorite is next and is it is a very tongue in cheek type of song called Headache. Very original lyrics and great sound make this a very entertaining song that is sure to be a favorite. Waiting For Spring is next and says just what I am always thinking at this time of year when snow lies everywhere and the temperature struggles to see 30 degrees. They close the offering with a song called Kick Ass. Surely not one that will gather much radio play but a neat song nonetheless. It should be popular in live shows as it features a great dance beat.

The varied musical influences at work on this band are pretty evident in their music and make for a fresh sound. The writing is excellent and no fault can be found in their arrangement or delivery. These guys are just smokin’ from beginning to end. A special guest helped with this effort and deserves a big thank you for his contribution to a great cd. Thanks for being there Jerome Godboo…

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Whiteboy Slim - Aka Whiteboy Slim

Here is the latest release from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan native Whiteboy Slim titled aka Whiteboy Slim. Slim has produced a set of music that you will either love it or hate it. That is true with much of his music, and the verdict so far has been people love it… If you enjoy lots of original material and a few covers thrown in but performed in a way that makes them his own, you should enjoy this release.

He opens with It Ain’t Art, a neat song written by slim that pokes at the politically correct and out to impress types. Next is another original titled Hey, Hold On Stop. It features some nice harp from Slim and neat lyrics. This is a nice slow shuffle style song. The first of four cover songs is next and is 20% Alcohol written by J.B. Hutto. This song describes an alcoholic woman and the problems her drinking creates. Next is another cover, Too Many Drivers penned by Dave Bartholomew. This is a classic song and receives a slowed new treatment by Slim as he has slowed the tempo of an already slow tune which tends to make it a whole different sound. Blue Murder follows and is another Whiteboy Slim original. It features some neat lyrics and great slide guitar by Slim. Cards On The Table is another original, this was a favorite of mine for the lyrics and music. He offers some nice guitar on this song. Next is I’ve Been Down So Long and was written by Slim. This is a classic blues subject tune. It has some very nice harpwork and a guitar solo that really fit the song well. It’s Strange Out There is another original and couldn’t be more truthful in light of society today. Next is one that has already been very popular with Radio Dj’s and fans I have shared it with, Krispy Kreme Woman. This shuffle has resulted in many comments when I shared it with radio personalities, all positive. Next up is She’s Into Something written by Carl Wright. This song has been covered many times by a whole host of great artists and each has given it a personal touch, Slim is no exception. He has done a fine job on a truly great song. Be Cool Baby is next and is another Slim penned song. He gives a more funky sound on this with an intro on synthesizer. He has employed some neat sound effects to change things up a bit throughout the song. He follows with another original called Tears On My Pillow. I really enjoy this song as it has a beat that just isn’t meant for sitting still. The funniest track he has included is next in You’re Perfect, I Love You, Now Change. The title says it all… He closes with a great old song penned by Taj Mahal called She Caught The Katy And Left Me A Mule To Ride. He has provided a neat musical arrangement for it with song great harmonica to start it off.

Like it or hate it, this is a very solid effort from Whiteboy Slim. He is true to his signature style of pushing the limits of the music he plays. He is no cookie cutter blues artist, as he always manages to come up with a sound all his own whether the music is his or a cover he has chosen.

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