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eatured Blues Review 3 of 5

Blue Lunch - Saxophone Shootout II

Wilbert?s Records

www.bluelunch.com

Time-60.18

Fans who have followed Roomful of Blues for many years can add Saxophone Shootout II to their collection by Blue Lunch.

Recorded live at Nighttown, Cleveland's premier jazz club was an appropriate spot for this band to strut their stuff. The music is something out of the big band era with its nods to Glen Miller and Count Basie.

Guitar shootout albums seem to be a great marketing technique for people to shell out the bucks. This is a different idea as the focus is on the saxophone.

The saxophone players featured are Tony Koussa, Jr, Keith McKelley and Chris Burge. All three are given ample time to solo in the spotlight.

There is tight jamming on the songs. But more satisfying is that the jamming doesn?t take off into long-winded excursions that can lose listener interest. As it is the music is pretty laid back and does not lend itself to screaming me attitudes and traveling too far into the zone. For the most part, the majority of tunes last little more than six minutes so any musical sojourns by these musicians are quickly kept in check.

?Honeydripper? written by Roosevelt Sykes is a fast attention getter. The music featured on this disc is in the same sequence that was performed at the club. Mike Sand?s piano pumps up ?Lowe Groovin? into its swinging boogie. The intensity increases as the ensemble outright cooks on ?Foothill Drive? with Scott Flowers? drumming driving a sledgehammer beat.

Being that Blue Lunch is a blues, jump and swing band, the songs lean heavily on being instrumentals. This is sufficient enough to put the music on auto-pilot without missing a vocalist too much. It is not until Gatemouth Brown?s ?I Just Got Lucky? that vocalist Pete London steps up to the microphone to sing this little jump blues.

The forte in the tracks seems to follow a standard formula of letting the three saxophone players as well as the keyboardist solo. Following the solo, Pete London announces the name of the player. And for those of us who are not finely tuned to the differences between alto and tenor saxophones, this is good as we know which player stepped up to the plate.

As with any live recording, studio doctoring and overdubs always seem to get added to cover up any mistakes in a live performance. But this live document seems to reek of an honesty and not too touched up to meet a buying fan?s expectations.

The first set of music ends on Sonny Rollin?s ?Tenor Madness.? It can?t end on a better note as the tune is propelled by all three sax players showing off their chops and practically blowing the roof off this club. Once again piano player Mike Sands comes up in the mix with strong support from the rhythm section taking it all home.

Not too many blues tunes are to be found on this cd. So something like Lowell Fulson?s ?Reconsider Baby? is a nice track that sits comfortably amongst the others. London may not have too many moments to sing, so he?s probably happy to vocalize this obscure chestnut.

For those who tend to like blues with the guitar being in the forefront might hesitate in picking up this release. The blues rock fans who have finally entrenched themselves in the purist circles and whose tastes extend to jazz will find this offering to their liking. No doubt it?s a blast from the past and something your parents enjoyed listening to in the Post-Depression era. Sometimes a detour is necessary when the blues formula tends to get a little predictable. You may not stay there all the time. On a loose occasion you don?t mind a little side trip.

Reviewer Gary Weeks is a contributing writer. He resides in Marietta, GA.


 

bluesmatters

BLUE LUNCH

Saxophone Shootout II Live

Wilberts Records

Oh boy an album of Blues saxophone and Blue Lunch set the table with a nine piece outfit so I got ready to groove as the disc hit
the platter and I pressed play and I was not disappointed one bit.

They’ve been holding what they call ‘Saxophone Shootouts’ since 2004. This album was recorded at a venue called Nighttown in Cleveland, apparently a world famous Jazz Club. No less than three sax players to the fore here with leader Bob Frank on guitar and vocal duty. From the notes this sounds like a real downhome night with the audience well fed on Nighttown’s good food and really set for a good night that the band duly delivered in spades. Well laid grooves, bursting sax in layers from the terrific three of Tony Koussa Jnr., Keith McLelley and Chirs Burge, smashing rhythm section of Ray Deforest (bass) and Scott Flowers (drums) holding it all down and tying the laces while Pete London also covered vocal and harmonica, piano was tinkled by Mike Sands.

Numbers include Joe Liggins ‘Honeydripper’ which more than ably kicks off the proceedings, others include Gatemouth Brown’s ‘I Just Got Lucky’, a super original of Bob’s ‘Chinese Knock-off’ that allows everyone room to move, Sonny Rollins’ ‘Tenor Madness’ to which you cannot keep still with sax and piano vying for attention and flying through each other, takes your breath away!

An excellent and energetic album that deserves your attention and is most certainly recommended by this listener (no way can you remain seated to this!)

Frank Leigh

La Hora Del Blues (Spain)

ENERO 2012 / JANUARY 2012

Blue Lunch “Saxophone Shootout II Live!- Wilberts 2011. Para esta nueva entrega del grupo Blue Lunch, el sexto álbum en su carrera, la banda ha contado con la participación de tres estupendos saxofonistas, que imprimen carácter, diversión y mucho swing a los temas en los que intervienen, como por ejemplo en los arreglos de “Honeydripper” de Joe Liggins que son excelentes y excitantes, así como en todo el resto. Diez nuevas canciones llenas de magia y ‘groove’ tienen cabida en este brillante cd donde el grupo expone sus credenciales de forma elegante y perfectamente ensamblados. Jazz, blues o jump se entremezclan con énfasis y a la vez racionalidad en este disco, que sin duda es un fantástico vehículo de expresión para que los Blue Lunch nos muestren diversas caras de la música negra, a través del sonido ‘vintage’ que ellos exponen de manera clara, contundente y magnífica. El grupo está formado por Tony Koussa Jr. saxos alto y tenor, Keith McKelly saxo tenor, Chris Burge saxo tenor, Bob Frank guitarra y voz, Pete London armónica y voz, Mike Sand piano, Ray Deforest bajo, Scott Flowers batería y Mike Rubin trompeta en “Reconsider Baby” de Lowell Fulson y “Rib Joint” del pianista Sammy Price. Un disco que no podéis dejar pasar por alto. MUY BUENO.

For this new release, the sixth one in his career, Blue Lunch has included three great saxophonists, which give character, fun and a lot of swing to the songs they play, such as in "Honeydripper" by Joe Liggins, with excellent exciting arrangements, as well as in every other track they play. Ten new songs full of magic and 'groove' have been included in this brilliant cd, where the band introduce themselves in an elegant perfectly teamed way. Jazz, blues or jump combine with strength and rationality along the cd, which becomes a perfect way of expression for Blue Lunch to show us different faces of black music, thanks to a 'vintage' show they display on a clear, strong and effective way. The band musicians are Tony Koussa Jr. alto and tenor sax, Keith McKelly tenor sax, Chris Burge tenor sax, Bob Frank guitar and vocals, Pete London harmonica and vocals, Mike Sand piano, Ray Deforest bass, Scott Flowers drums and Mike Rubin trumpet in "Reconsider Baby" by Lowell Fulson and "Rib Joint" from piano player Sammy Price. It is a cd to be taken into account. GREAT.

 





Blue Lunch
Sideswiped
(Wilberts Records )


April 29, 2010


 Featured Blues Review 3 of 3

15 tracks
This CD is HOT. Like really hot.
Blue Lunch is a tight band who mix and match their sounds oh-so-well and really deliver an eclectic sound. Hailing from the Cleveland, Ohio, area, this is their fifth CD and it’s a good one. Led by Bob Frank on guitar, vocals, and harp, they offer a sound similar to Roomful of Blues. His vocal style is jumping and in the style of Duke Robillard. Pete London on vocals and harp offers up a different, echoing higher pitched vocal style that reminds me of our buddy from Madison, Jimmy Voegeli. He and Frank are both superb front men. Raymond DeForest on bass and occasional vocals and Scott Flowers on percussion are solid throughout. Mike Sands keyboard work ranges from elegant and harmonious to full throttle barrelhouse. The horns and brass make these guys larger than life. Keith McKelly on tenor sax, Bob Michael on trombone, and Mike Rubin on trumpet (with Gordon Beadle on the tenor lead on a couple of tracks) add a really nice dimension to the tracks.

The title tracks is an instrumental and they open with it with great success. It sets a hot and fiery mood. The driving guitar and horns backed up by the drums and bass are great. At first I was taken aback by not featuring vocals to start, but they were toying with me. Frank offers a solid, clean sound on the swing track “Which Way to Go?” Very, very solid, perhaps my favorite track overall. They throw in a little Hammond B3 to thicken up the already rich sound. London fronts the band next on “Always Pickin’ on Me”, which is a bouncy, fun and lively track. By rack four they’ve slowed things down with the ballad, “All Things Come”. From fiery hot to low down and sentimental all in 15 minutes, and there are 11 tracks left! They show their versatility and range to start and then aptly continue to showcase their talents.

They offer some eclectic originals and covers. “Monkey Hips and Rice”, “36-22-36”, “Mother-in-Law”, “Don’t Point That Thing at Me”, “Chinese Knockoff” and Too Much Boogie” that offer a lighter side of humor, novelty songs and just enjoyable stuff, all delivered with their big, solid sound. They threw in a second instrumental with a jazzy Bill Doggett/Illinois Jaquet cover of “Doggin’ With Doggett”; it is a swinging number that showcases all the instruments and their talented wielders.

Whether it is traditional blues, swing, boogie woogie, rollicking barrelhouse or down tempo stuff, it is well done and quite professional. I can’t find anything to complain about in this Cleveland band except they need to get on the road and showcase their stuff so more people can find out what great band they are!

Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.
For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

Blue Lunch
Sideswiped
(Wilberts Records )




April 29, 2010


Sideswiped, (04/29/10)

Well, maybe it's time to stop dissing that much-derided metropolis, Cleveland. Robert Lockwood Jr. lived there for many years before his demise in 2006; Travis Haddix has lived there for many years; Mark Hahn, Lockwood's former guitar sideman, isn't eponymously titled Cleveland Fats for nothing. Add Blue Lunch to the panoply of impressive Ohio Blues musicians. In this, their fifth album, they comport themselves with verve, style, and ample chops.

Led by dual vocalists Bob Frank and Pete London, the former on lead guitar and the latter on harmonica, Blue Lunch is probably most notable not only for its high quality musicianship but also for its versatility. How many other groups, replete with a full horn section of saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, can demonstrate skill with swing, 1940s big band jump Blues and jazz, lounge ballads, gospel, and Chicago Blues? Roomful of Blues comes to mind, but not many others. "Sideswiped" provides a taste of several subgenres of the Blues, as well as a hefty dose of sly humor in such tunes as "Monkey Hips and Rice" and "Mother-in-Law."

The album sports almost a full hour of music, apportioned into fifteen cuts; seven are composed by Frank and others by such luminaries as Doc Pomus, Allen Toussaint, Bill Doggett, and Roy Gaines. The opener, the title tune "Sideswiped," sets the stage as an instrumental highlighting horns, guitar, piano, and sax in rapid, sapid sequence. The uptempo "Which Way to Go" follows, giving nice exposure to London's harp skill and is succeeded by "Always Pickin' on Me," an R-&-B ditty flavored by piano and horn solos and even a guest clarinet spot.

The set remains at a high level throughout, with alternating tempos and styles maintaining interest and several guest musicians lending their talents to the basic eight-person combo. "The Best I Can," a Frank composition, in its horn ensemble backing recalls memories of the 1960s band Blood, Sweat and Tears, and displays fine rapport between Frank's guitar and London's harp. "Doggin' with Doggett" evokes the sound of a 1940s big band with successive solos of muted trumpet, trombone, sax, and jazzy guitar; I could envision it as the background music of a movie scene featuring WW II sailors on leave dancing with their gals.

"Every Day Will Be Like a Holiday" is the nod to gospel, with moving vocal harmonies. Roy Gaines's "Isabella" begins and ends as a 1950s rock-and-roller with Frank's guitar solo a bluesy mid-tune interlude. "Mother-in-Law" demonstrates the band's R-&-B credentials, and "My Baby Knows Lovin'" is fine Chicago blues featuring Frank on slide guitar. "Too Much Boogie" is an uptempo closing romper with adept Gordon Beadle sax contributions.

Lacking a dominant singer with raspy country intonation, urban power, or soul smoothness, Blue Lunch more than compensates with adaptability and panache. The band can swing and croon; it can be ribald and rockin'.

Steve Daniels is a contributing editor to BluesWax.Steve can be reached at www.blueswax@visnat.com.


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Blue Lunch:
Sideswiped
(Wilbert's Records)

By Anastasia Pantsios
Cleveland SCENE

January 6, 2010


Sideswiped is the band's fifth album and their first since 2004's Big Sound Blues. All have been released on Wilbert's label, and fittingly, they'll have their release party at Wilbert's this weekend. Sideswiped demonstrates the band's seemingly limitless ability to freshen up '40s and '50s dance-music styles. Such seasoned musicians with stellar chops often produce technically admirable music that sounds rote. Not so here. The band applies a light and lively touch to jaunty novelty tunes like "Monkey Hips and Rice" and the Ernie K-Doe classic "Mother-in-Law," swings with aplomb on "Too Much Boogie" and injects the old-school R&B of "Every Day Will Be Like a Holiday" with the requisite fervor.

Sideswiped also contains more of Frank's own tunes than previous CDs. Instead of three or four, there are seven of his compositions, including the title instrumental, the sharp jump blues "Which Way to Go," the big, sexy, urbane blues of "My Baby Knows Lovin'" and the after-hours, Tom Waits-ish "All Things Come."



Blue Lunch
Sideswiped
(Wilberts Records )

By Greg Ceilic
CloolCleveland.com

January 23, 2010


The guys in Blue Lunch have been playing the blues so long, either individually or as group, that their live shows almost become a lesson in blues music, showing influences from Chicago, New Orleans, Soul, 50's Rock and Roll, and everything in between. Their fifth release on Wilberts Records Sideswiped does the same thing, with fifteen solid tracks featuring Blue Lunch's many styles and talents.

The disc includes seven originals and eight covers. Bob Frank, Pete London and company have you up and dancing on almost every track. The best of the originals include the title track, a great Memphis sound number; "All Things to Come," one of their favorite live tunes; and "Don't Point that Thing at Me." Amongst the covers are the R & B classic "Everyday will be Like a Holiday," with great four part harmony on the chorus; and the album's closer, a rowdy version of Doc Pomus's "Too Much Boogie."

Blue Lunch is Frank on guitar and vocals, London on harmonica and vocals, Raymond DeForest on bass, Scott Flowers on drums, Mike Sands on piano, Keith McKelley on tenor, Bob Michael on trombone, and Mike Rubin on trumpet. The guest list for Sideswiped is a who's who of the blues, including a couple of great sax solos by Boston's "Sax" Gordon Beadle.

I highly recommend Blue Lunch's new release Sideswiped, it's a great piece of music from some local guys who really know how to do it.

Blue Lunch
Sideswiped
(Wilberts Records )


April, 2010

By Graham Clarke

Blue Lunch is a Cleveland, OH-based blues band that plays a wide range of music, ranging from blues (jump or Chicago), New Orleans R&B, soul, jazz, and classic rock & roll. The eight-piece band has just released their fifth recording, on Wilberts Records, called Sideswiped.

Guitarist/singer Bob Frank penned all the originals, including the groovy instrumental title tune that kicks off the disc. Other highlights include the horn-driven “Which Way To Go,” the ballad, “All Things Come,” a wistful tune that’s popular with their fans, and “The Best I Can,” a straight blues number. “Chinese Knock-Off” is a humorous track about con jobs and rip-offs with great lyrics, and “Don’t Point That Thing At Me” sounds like vintage Rice Miller and even features Frank on harmonica. Another fine blues number is “My Baby Knows Lovin’,” which features some killer slide guitar in the Muddy Waters tradition.

The covers are a diverse set, ranging from Crescent City R&B (“Always Pickin’ On Me” and “Mother-In-Law”) to jump blues (“Too Much Boogie” and “Doggin’ With Doggett”), doo-wop and soul (“Monkey Hips and Rice” and William Bell’s “Every Day Will Be Like A Holiday”), and the blues (Roy Gaines’ “Isabella” and Bobby Bland’s immortal “36-22-36”). Blue Lunch shows their versatility on this eclectic mix of tunes.

Though the band (Frank, Pete London – harmonica, vocals, Raymond DeForest – bass, bass vocals, Scott Flowers – drums, Mike Sands – piano, Keith McKelley – tenor sax, Bob Michael – trombone, vocals, Mike Rubin – trumpet, vocals) is in fine form, they also get a helping hand from fellow musicians “Sax” Gordon Beadle (tenor sax), Sammy DeLeon (percussion), Tim Longfellow (Hammond B3), Erwin Michael (clarinet), Ryan Pennington (vocals), Kate Brown (vocals), and Lisa Rubin (vocals).

Fans of good-time rocking blues and boogie will enjoy Blue Lunch’s latest effort.



Blue Lunch
Sideswiped
(Wilberts Records )

By John Vermilyea
bluesunderground.com

June 15, 2010


Bringing you a good healthy helping of all flavors of the Blues is what Blue Lunch's newest release, "Sideswiped", is all about.

"Sideswiped" is Blue Lunch's 5th Album, contains nearly one hour of music and 15 Tracks featuring a wide range of Blues Styles, from Swing to Boogie, from Soul to Chicago Blues, to name a few, all done with not only class, but also in a order that makes perfect sense for such a diverse CD. Of the 15 Tracks, 7 are original tunes and 8 covers which make for not only a great mix of music, but also shows the great range of expertise this exceptionally tight blues band has.
One thing I noticed right of the bat with "Sideswiped", is that it truly lives up to it's band name, "Blue Lunch", and is the kind of music you could see yourself listening to in an old fashioned style eatery or dinner club, not only thoroughly enjoying the food but also the great atmosphere that such great music can bring to the mix.

The players whom created the magic of "Sideswiped", are no strangers to the Cleveland Ohio music and have crafted their trade collectively for many years. The lineup for "Sideswiped", features Bob Frank, Bob Michael,Tony Koussa, Pete London, Mike Rubin, Scott Flowers, Ray DeForest, and Mike Sands all working together to bring one of the biggest and sharpest Blues Band Sounds around, especially with the exceptional horn and piano section.

Picking a couple of favorites from this deep of an Album is not easy, but I chose "Don't Point That Thing At Me" and the opening track "Sideswiped".

All in all "Sideswiped" is one heck of a good romp when it comes to the Blues and one Highly Recommended Album... Those whom love a wide variety of great blues will love "Sideswiped".

John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)

click above to read the review of Sideswiped in Vintage Guitar.



Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 25, 2008

Blue Lunch from Cleveland

I'm looking forward to their set -- never heard them, but they're supposed to have a horn-driven big-band, R&B flavor as well as a straight blues bent.

Before they start up, Moondog himself (I wonder if he'd like to meet HoneyBoy?), Ron Esser, who runs Moondog's and books the festival bands, welcomed everybody on behalf of fest sponsor First Commonweath. Nothing like a bank that's still solvent to pay the bills.
But here comes the band. They're an impressive looking group -- harp, sax, trumpet, keyboards, upright bass -- dig that!

They've got a little New Orleans rhythm, some raunchy sax  -- remember "Mother In Law" by Ernie K-Doe? They're doing it a huge amount of justice as I try to type in time to the music. Next up, Professor Longhair. Then, "Barefootin'." These guys swing. If you drive really fast, maybe you can still catch a tune. Now it's Huey Piano Smith.
They're really rolling in the New Orleans music. After all, the first  night of the fest was billed as Mardi Gras night, so that's cool

(BlueNotes conflict of interest note: I'm sucking down a really good and head-numbing cold red, white and blue Italian ice handed to me by Tom La Scola. Just for being BlueNotes. Thanks, Tom.)
This is a heckuva set. Kind of like Roomful of Blues, but from Cleveland. They swing, they rock, they get down and dirty with the blues. What more can a blues fan ask? No free lunch? Don't tell these guys.



Pittsburgh Blues Festival,
July 25, 2008


Blue Lunch:
Big Sound Blues
(Wilbert's Records)

BY DUANE VERH
feedback@clevescene.com

Blue Lunch
Details: Friday, June 11
Where: Wilbert's

June 9, 2004

The hep cats of Blue Lunch have always been a diverse outfit, tapping their love of classic R&B and doo-wop in addition to "straight" blues. The band's celebrating two decades of music with the release of its fourth CD, a collection that comes hard with predictably rock-solid playing and a distinctive stylistic mix.

The iron man here is guitarist-vocalist Bob Frank, whose versatility clearly grounds the band. Not many outfits that strut their swing stuff so well can put on a country-blues face that's just as respectable -- as Blue Lunch does here on Frank's version of Robert Lockwood's "Little Boy Blue." Frank's originals stand up nicely alongside the well-chosen vintage covers; his sly Latin/lounge mash-up "You Got to Dance the Cha Cha With Me" is as good as almost anything from Roomful of Blues or Little Charlie & the Nightcats. The best track, though, is the smokin' cover of the Five Royales' "I Do," which, in an ideal world, would be Blue Lunch's radio single.

clevescene.com | originally published: June 9, 2004




Blue Lunch
Big Sound Blues
(Wilbert's Records)

By Anastasia Pantsios
Cleveland FREE TIMES

Blue Lunch plays retro music. Its specialty is that confluence of late '40s/early '50s jump blues/R&B/post-swing music that soon morphed into rock 'n' roll. But there's nothing musty about this nearly 20-year-old Cleveland act that has really started to make a name for itself in the last decade. Although this 17-track disc, its fourth, contains four tracks by band leader/vocalist/ guitarist Bob Frank, most of it consists of vintage covers, with a heavy focus on lively, fun stuff that often, on tracks like “Chicken Blues” and “Honey Chile,” exhibits the goofball humor that era's pop music was known for. Spirited, danceable tunes like “Alligator Meat” and “I Do, I Do, I Do,” driven by the crisp horn section, predominate, spelled by an occasional blues track like “Little Boy Blue.” That the band brings it all off with such panache is a tribute to its chops; the eight players comprise some of this town's most seasoned musicians. In big-band style, brief but non-indulgent solos give them a chance to shine without breaking up the flow of the tunes.


Blue Lunch
Big Sound Blues
(Wilbert's Records)

Blues Review
Oct/Nov 2004
By Jeff Calvin

"Now here's a big band-Ohio's Blue Lunch is an eight piece outfit fronted by guitarist Bob Frank and harpist Peter London (both men sing). Big Sound Blues boasts a swinging batch of tunes wamed up with a winning sax/trumpet/bone section and good singing and playing. These guys are pros; listen and learn. Hot slices: the house-proud "Cleveland Ohio Blues" and a cover of T-Bone Walker's "Vida Lee".

Blue Lunch: CD Review
Big Sound Blues
(Wilbert's Records)

BY PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO,
© JUNE, 2004

As soon as I tore off the cellophane wrapper and opened this CD it started leaving good impressions on me. This is going to be the first time I ever did a review and am mentioning the jacket, but it did impress me enough to do so. Kudos to Jennifer May at Point to Point Communications for the very nice CD design.

This is the fourth CD from BLUE LUNCH a band from Cleveland, Ohio that has been together since 1984. That's a long time for a local band to keep it fun, keep it right and keep it good, especially with eight members involved. The band consists of BOB FRANK, the musical director on guitar and vocals; PETER LONDON, on harmonica and vocals; NORMAN TISCHLER, on saxophone and harmony vocals; BOB MICHAEL, trombone and harmony vocals; MIKE RUBIN, on trumpet; RAYMOND DEFOREST, on upright bass and harmony vocals; MIKE SANDS, on keyboards; and MIKE JANOWITZ, on drums. For this session support was provided by DICK INGERSOLL, on baritone saxophone; SAMMY DE LEONE, on congas and percussion; and MARK FREEMAN, on harmony vocals and hand claps. Sounds like a lot of music right? It is! Seventeen tracks worth, and it's all hot. Calling this CD "BIG SOUND BLUES" was right on target.

All the tracks on "BIG SOUND BLUES", five originals and twelve covers, were very well done. This is one of those CD's that you pop in and just completely enjoy, from start to finish. I will however mention a few that deserve some extra merit.

"IC BOOGIE", the opening track and one of the originals gets you going right off the bat. It's the cut that starts you shaking and that's pretty much how you stay throughout the CD. There's a real nice harmonica / saxophone duel with the piano getting it's licks in too.

"YOU'VE GOT TO DANCE THE CHA CHA WITH ME", another original, has to be a favorite of live audiences at BLUE LUNCH shows. This cut makes you wanna dance - the cha cha of course. It sounded like the RICKY RICARDO ORCHESTRA, playing the blues.

"CLEVELAND, OHIO BLUES", yet another original, has a real nice ROOMFUL OF BLUES sound to it. It's real smooth and soulfully sung ALA SUGAR RAY. Several times during this one I found myself drifting away from the review and rocking to the sounds. The horn section shines on this song about someone not wanting to leave Cleveland, Ohio.

"CHICKEN BLUES" is a real funky and funny song. In it you are advised that "If you don't like chicken you should leave the hen alone". It is sung by the upright bass player, RAYMOND DEFOREST, and his vocals sound just like his instrument.

A fourth original "NEW PLACE TO HANG MY HAT" is another Sugar Ray / Roomful styled song. It's quite clear that they were a big influences on this band. I'm sure also that lead vocalist BOB FRANK may have listened to a few DARREL NULISCH recording over the years.

I absolutely loved this CD and although it is only June, it may very well be a contender for the BLEWZZY.