The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Blues 101

Reviewed by Margaret Moser, April 28, 2006, Music

"I don't miiiind," yowls Austin's Black Joe Lewis on the first track of his stripped-down, untitled new release on Weary Records. Produced by the Weary Boys' Brian Salvi, the eight hellbent songs rip like the night train with James Brown as engineer. Lewis lives for trad blues and soul ("Please," "Cousin Randy"), but make no mistake, this music is the color of tonight's dusk sky ("DC Killa," "Bitch I Love You"). Former ATX guitarist Sue Foley is at the wheel again on New Used Car (Ruf Records), shifting smoothly from blues balladry ("Mother," "Long Tomorrow," "Absolution") to her revved-up rock & roll roots ("New Used Car," "Do It Again"). This is her 10th recording, and it cruises fearlessly down the heated asphalt. Hitch a ride. Lightning Red's smoky slide blues come well-seasoned by his lengthy tenure as a guitarist and harp player. Currently performing with LZ Love's local powerhouse outfit, his new CD, A Long Way Home (Groovemaster Records), spotlights his lo-fi Chicago- and Delta-influenced blues compositions ("Triple X," "Heart Attack"), with matchless acoustic style, and nods to Willie Dixon and Jimmy Reed. Ridin' the Darkhorse (Electro-Fi Records) is veteran local Gary Primich's newest, sweet rockin' blues of a distinctly urban nature ("Sugar Bee," "Indians," "Wig City"). Primich's music bears all the tattoos of his Midwest blues style: fat and juicy harmonica, relentless backbeat, and cool vocals. Primich will appreciate the latest Texas Harmonica Rumble (Dialtone Records), seriously raw, harp-driven blues that brings Austin vets Orange Jefferson, Lazy Lester, Bobby Rush, Sammy Meyers, Joe Jonas, and Mel Davis with locals Mike Buck, Eve Monsees, Grady Pinkerton, and Mike Keller. Check out "High Tempter," "19 Naught Naught," and "Honest I Do" for the best in black-and-white with blues all over.

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