Review: Grady Champion – Dreamin’

Posted on: Friday, Aug 12, 2011

Grady Champion

(GSM Music Group GSM 7500-11)

Grady Champion is a singer/songwriter/harmonica player from Mississippi and the winner in the Blues Band category of the 2010 International Blues Challenge. This, his fifth album, comprises ten original compositions, nine of which were composed singly or jointly by Champion himself. He is backed by guitarists Zac Harmon and Gregg Wright, bass player Buthel and keyboard player/drummer Christopher Troy.

“My Rooster Is King” provides a rocking opening track with Grady Champion’s gruff vocals bearing shades of Howlin’ Wolf. The title track bounces along in contrast to the soulful ballad, “Weight Of The World”, which boasts tasty helpings of harp and guitar from Champion and Harmon respectively. “Guilty As Charged” supplies a hint of gospel, complete with powerful backing vocals while “Same Train” features Champion’s vocals at their rasping best and vibrant slide guitar from Gregg Wright.

There’s more than a touch of Jimmy Reed in the lively “Make That Monkey Jump” before “Cross That Bridge” shrouds infidelity-induced soul-searching in a reggae-ish beat. The slow blues, “Thank You For Giving Me The Blues”, is embellished by some lovely guitar work from Zac Harmon while Champion demonstrates his mastery of the harp on the upbeat, Ray Charles-like “Laugh, Smile, Cry Sometimes” and on the final, swamp blues style track, “Walk With Me Baby”.

The album is vibrant, loud and full of energy, reinforcing Grady Champion’s reputation for delivering bristling, crowd-pleasing live performances.

Grady Champion’s website

Lionel Ross

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