Jazz CD Reviews

The Mike Eldred Trio – 61 and 49 – ZohoRoots

An ear-popping delight with style and heart.

Published on June 3, 2011

The Mike Eldred Trio – 61 and 49 –  ZohoRoots

The Mike Eldred Trio – 61 and 49 ZohoRoots ZM 201105, 48:00 ****:

(Mike Eldred – guitars & vocals; John Buzz – Fender bass; Jerry Angel – drums; plus special guests)

When the blues come knocking, it’s best to open the door, especially when there is a trio of top notch musicians delivering the goods. As a reminder of those rocking good times, The Mike Eldred Trio and special guests entertains us with style and heart which makes this disc an ear – popping delight.

The thirteen tracks on the disc are Mike Eldred compositions and while they vary in approach, texture, and arrangement, all are blues or rockabilly based tunes. Eldred certainly knows what he is trying to accomplish with each piece. They are stories related about people, events and experiences that shaped their lives. Out of the gate with “She’s a Rocket “the group is joined by Ike Turner on piano and it just barrels along to set the pace for the balance of the disc. There is no shortage of tunes that are chock full of blazing guitars, rough bass lines, and arresting vocals. For example, “Louise” and “This Old Train” both of which are in this category, the latter talking about life on the road.

Some down-home blues are on display with “I Ain’t Comin’ Back” and with intense guitar effect on “Ruby’s Blues”. The guest artists contribute enormously to the overall product such as Riley Osborn on Hammond B-3 on “For A Girl” and the Emmanuel Church Gospel Choir on “Don’t Go Down There”. The penultimate track “61 and 49” harkens back to Robert Johnson and those lonesome highways.

This is an entertaining disc filled with brilliant blues which are bound to evoke recollections for those good old days.

She’s A Rocket; Jake’s Boogie; Louise; Ms. Gayle’s Chicken House; Jimmy, Jimmy; This Old Train; I Ain’t Comin’Back; Ruby’s Blues; For A Girl; Mr. Newman; Lookie Here; 61 and 49; Don’t Go Down There

— Pierre Giroux

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