Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., Jan. 20, 2006
Walk On (AusTone)
Austin über-bassist Roscoe Beck wears many hats: the low end behind the Dixie Chicks, Eric Johnson, and Robben Ford; co-producer of the platinum 1986 Leonard Cohen tribute Famous Blue Raincoat; the subharmonic groove pushing Antone's Blue Mondays; and string wizard who auditioned to be a Rolling Stone. Beck's friends help on this solo debut, including singers Jacqui and Mike Cross, Omar Dykes, Ruthie Foster, and Malford Milligan; timekeepers Brannen Temple and José Galeaño; James Cotton and Kim Wilson on harmonica; guitarists Ford, Johnson, Derek O'Brien, Mitch Watkins, and David Grissom; and a bunch of quality session players. With Beck behind the 10 blues tracks compositionally and harmonically, cohesiveness ain't an issue. With such an overflow of talent, however, one expects more fireworks. "Rockin' Like 2am" is true to its amped-up name, and "Cotton" is Beck's blues tone poem for the living legend who graces the track, but overall things are too sedate for the many gifted players. In a sense, the cocktail instrumental at disc's end speaks a bit too literally to the longevity of Walk On: "Blues for a Day."