Review: The Steve Wiggins Band – Precious Cargo

Posted on: Thursday, Mar 3, 2011

“Precious Cargo”
(Independent Production)

Piano-led blues albums are sadly becoming something of an endangered species these days. This live album was recorded in Steve’s home town of Panama City, Florida in 2009, and it is described on Steve’s website as his blues set – he has a variety of styles, from Blues to New Age experimental!

With only sax and a rhythm section (and drummer Lenwood Cherry Jr. taking the bulk of the vocals), the band is not afraid to stretch out into the jazz field a little on the cool ‘Roosterfish’ and a funkier ‘Watermelon Man’. For the most part though, the sound is based around straight-ahead blues and boogie, often in a cool, Mose Allison-ish way, particularly on John Lee Hooker’s ‘Dimples’, which the leader himself sings; Lenwood leans more towards a soul style.Saxman Wally Tirado is muted and soulful too, picking his notes carefully.

Overall, this is a thoughtful and enjoyable set, and it provides an excellent counterpoint to the electric guitar led blues-rock that the majority of blues releases offer these days, even though the closing studio track does have hints of that!

Norman Darwen

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