Review: Smoky Greenwell’s New Orleans Blues Jam – Live At The Old U.S. Mint

Posted on: Saturday, Aug 29, 2015

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Smoky Greenwell’s New Orleans Blues Jam – Live At The Old U.S. Mint

(Greenwell)

Harp man, singer and sometimes sax-man Smoky is a new name to me, though this is his tenth CD! In the States this set comes with a DVD, but this is not available over here, sadly – due to difficulties with the different format, I guess.

Still, if it is the music that matters, Smoky certainly hits the mark on that score. He took up the harmonica in the 70s, played with War and Warren Haynes’s old group Blues Co-op and fronted his own outfits.

Here he is backed by his regular accompanists Jack Kolb on guitar, David Hyde on bass and drummer and vocalist Pete Bradish. Smoky blows up a storm on the instrumental opener, has a wry tale to tell on ‘My Own Blues Club’ and pulls out the sax for the gritty ‘Peter Gunn’.

New Orleans guitarist and bandleader Mark Pentone guests on a couple of his own numbers, and the multi-talented zydeco star Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes sits in for a couple of other tracks.

The overall feeling of this set is relaxed but cool and determined in a very Crescent City way – worth investigating, of course.

NORMAN DARWEN

www.smokygreenwell.com

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