Review: Quintus McCormick – Still Called The Blues

Posted on: Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012


Quintus McCormick – Still Called The Blues

(Delmark Records: DE821)

Times change . . . in 1970 Delmark released Chicago bluesman Mighty Joe Young’s debut album – it attracted less than ecstatic reviews as the title was accurately enough, “Blues With A Touch Of Soul”. These days one of the plus points for Windy City singer/ guitarist/ bandleader Quintus – now on his third album – is his rich soul voice.

A track like ‘That’s My Baby’ is a smoochy soul ballad with a flute weaving its way around the smooth arrangement, ‘What Am I Gonna Do’ has hints of Chi-town soulman Tyrone Davis’s ‘Can I Change My Mind’, and the opening number brought to mind Bobby Rush in 70s funk mode – but when Quintus does get down to Bobby Rush’s wry ‘What’s Good For The Goose’, it is a lovely, straight Chicago mid-tempo blues.

The best blues performance of the lot though is a raw rendering of Little Johnny Taylor’s 1971 hit, ‘Everybody Knows About My Good Thing’, but the far more modern sounding title track runs it close, and BB King’s ‘Woke Up This Morning’ is a fine and lively old-fashioned performance. ‘Always’ with the leader on piano, is almost supper-club jazz, and Quintus even covers The Beatles’ swamp-pop flavoured ‘Oh! Darling’ in a very faithful style. I wonder what Mighty Joe’s critics would have thought of that!


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