Review: Ruff Kutt Blues Band – That’s When The Blues Begins

Posted on: Thursday, Sep 19, 2013

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Ruff Kutt Blues Band – That’s When The Blues Begins

(VizzTone: VTRK2013)

This is the second album from the band that was originally formed by Texan bass player, James Goode to raise money and awareness for the Blues Foundation’s HART fund; a charity that provides help and relief for blues musicians who are in dire straits. The album became so successful that it managed to garner and provide a donation of ten thousand dollars for the charity.

Now, James has decided to reform the band and with a little help from a few friends put together a new album consisting of fourteen numbers. Once again, Texan guitarist Anson Funderburgh joins James and he has recruited a fine collection of musicians to play on this album including;   Zac Harmon; vocals, guitar, Finis Tasby; Vocals, Gentleman John Street; keyboards, Wes Starr; drums, Ron Jones; saxophone, Steven Richardson; harmony vocals and last but not least Eric Przygocki; upright bass.

Sadly, since the completion of this recording Finis suffered a stroke in December of 2012 and these numbers are as yet, his last recordings. We can only wish him a safe and complete recovery.

The overall beauty of these numbers is the sweet, almost gossamer like delivery, the comforting feelgood vocals of Zac and Finis compel you to carry on no matter what, their voices meld so eloquently with the loping, leisurely paced ever reassuring Texan guitar feel, a sound which moves with sublime liquidity from shuffle to slowburner; especially so, when the vast majority of the subject matter concerns painful rejection, depression, loss, isolation and the cynical abusing of ones emotions and money.

On the fat mellow saxophone led slowburning “Deep Elam Blues,” Finis with his smoothly burred voice eloquently recalls happier times spent in that much remembered Dallas area. The lazy funk filled saxophone on “Blues In My Blood,” melds seamlessly with the sharp resonating guitar picking that is a fine counterpoint to the sensitivity of Finis, which is backed by the almost angelic harmonies of Steve.

The air of melancholy is further emphasised on the somewhat mournful “Don’t It Make You Cry.” A soul infused “Oh Woman,” has Zac displaying his dulcet vocal tones and is accompanied a sharply duelling, shuffling guitar and saxophone.  Finis is bemoaning his low spirits on “Down So Low,” while in the background a wailing guitar is backed by a sorrowful rolling piano and organ.

The rest of the wholly engrossing numbers on this album stay firmly in this happily sad area and the listener definitely benefits from this introspective mood,  for the music slowly creeps up upon you and insinuates itself into your subconscious and I guarantee you will be all the better for it.

BRIAN HARMAN

www.ruffkuttblues.com

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