Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The Bottoms Up Blues Gang - South Broadway Blues
10 - Smokestack Lightning
11 - Everyday I Have the Blues
12 - Who Do You Love
13 - Bonus Track
St. Louis has a blues tradition that stretches back to the post WWI migration of Black laborers up the Mississippi to industrial jobs in northern cities. Along with their high hopes and matchbox luggage, they brought the musical traditions of the Delta. In St. Louis, those mixed with the ragtime piano traditions already in place to bring us a distinctive boogie-woogie style. The St. Louis blues tradition lives on today in the clubs of the South Broadway district and the performances of musicians like the three in The Bottoms Up Blues Gang.
Singer Kari Liston, guitarist Jeremy Segel-Moss and harmonicist Adam Andrews produce a much fuller sound than the lineup might suggest, even when not augmented by some of the guests that periodically appear on their debut CD. The most notable addition is pianist Matt Murdick, whose presence allows Segel-Moss, a rock solid rhythm guitar player for the most part, to open up and demonstrate some impressive facility as a lead player as well.
In addition to singing, Liston adds some original songs into the group's set of blues standards, but it's hard to tell the originals from the classics, they're that good. She's a very effective stylist, with an emotional richness that belies her relative youth. Andrews rounds out the lineup with a harmonica that fills the place of a keyboardist, a horn section, a harmony vocalist, a lead guitarist or just about anything else that might be missing, and fills those places completely.