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Alvin JETT and The Phat Noiz Blues Band – Honey Bowl 2009

Posted in Alvin JETT, BLUES on December 15, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Alvin JETT and The Phat Noiz Blues Band – Honey Bowl 2009


I last reviewed an Alvin Jett CD back in February 2008, when the East St. Louis-born Jett brought out How Long.
Jett’s latest album a year later, Honey Bowl (Blues Boulevard), is even better – the Phat Noize Blues Band is still super tight, still producing great blues, and still backed ably by Frank Bauer’s sax playing. In addition the band has a handful of exceptional guest musicians in the shape of Arthur Mississippi Williams, John Wolf, Jim Rosse, Pete Ruthenberg and Scott Bryant.
Most of the 14 tracks here are written or co-written, by Alvin Jett, and they’re all good stuff – two of the others were written by the bass man Matt Davis and the remaining one by the sax player Frank Bauer.
The album opens with the Alvin Jett number, “Make Me Blue,” and straight away you know that you’re in for some good blues. This is a strong track, musically, with a driving beat, some fantastic sax playing from Frank Bauer, who takes off like an express train, and Alvin Jett’s trademark guitar work. Track two, “Lay My Burden Down,” is a song written by Jett and Bauer together, and it’s equally as good as the opening number, driving forward with absolute confidence.
On the next track, “Bluesman’s Hat” (also written by Jett & Bauer), Arthur Mississippi Williams is given the chance to strut his stuff with some down home harmonica playing which pushes the band along at a great tempo, and gives them a totally different flavour to the two previous tracks.
Just when you thought that you had this band pegged, they change to a Latin flavoured, Santana style, “Honey Bowl,” complete with some trumpet work from Jim Rosse – listen to this through headphones with your eyes shut, and the guitar work could be Carlos himself, especially at the start of the track – spooky, but nice!
The CD has a little bit of everything, including an eerie instrumental track, “Lucky Charms,” that just drips atmosphere and feeling. The guitar playing here reminds me a little of early Peter Green, but it’s not as though that was a direct influence, it’s more sutble than that and I can’t put my finger on it directly. Next up comes ”The Graveyard Shift,” pure slow, moody blues with possibly the best guitar work on the album – wow! This guy can play.
Frank Bauer’s track, “Alone & Drinkin’,“ shows that this man isn’t just a superb sax player, but he’s also got some tunes running around in his head that he needs to get down on paper – I hope we hear some more of his stuff on the next album. And his sax playing shines on the next track “Me, You & Cyndee,” a semi bossa nova type beat carried along by the sax with Jett’s guitar filling in – not very bluesy, but excellent late night listening.
The CD ends up with “A Year Or Two Or Ten Or Twenty,” followed by “Runnin’ Like A Dog” – two very strong bluesy numbers that wrap up the proceedings nicely, with all of the band working hard to show just how good they are together.
This CD deserves to be played……lots!
By Terry Clear. (Mr.Fatass)
Alvin Jett- (Vocals, Guitar);
Frank Bauer- (Saxophone);
Matt Davis- (Bass Guitar);
Woody Woodruff- (Drums).
01. Make Me Blue  4.34
02. Lay My Burden Do  4.04
03. Bluesman’s Hat  4.39
04. Honey Bowl  4.57
05. The Wreck  5.13
06. 3-minute Man  3.00
07. Lucky Charms  5.28
08. Graveyard Shift  5.34
09. Zombie Land  3.56
10. Dem Haters  3.55
11. Alone&drinkin’  3.48
12. Me, You & Cydnee  4.36
13. A Year Or Ten Or Twenty  4.21
14. Runnin’ Like A Dog  3.47

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