Monday, April 19, 2010
Son SEALS Blues Band - Son Seals Blues Band 1973
Originally issued in 1973 on Bruce Iglauer's then-new Alligator label, this is the late, great Frank "Son" Seals' debut album, a supremely rough, tough affair with some stinging lead guitar playing, tougher and less polished than Stevie Ray Vaughan and at least as gritty as Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy.
Son Seals mines classic Chicago blues grooves on the swinging "Look Now, Baby" and the slow "Cotton Pickin' Blues", and other highlights include the grinding (and thoroughly unsentimental) "Your Love Is Like A Cancer", the fiery "Mother-In-Law Blues", a genuine blues in the vein of Elmore James, and the funky "How Could She Leave Me". But there are really no weak tracks here at all, just forty minutes of slashing guitar playing and raw bluesy goodness played by the stripped-down four-piece band (Seals, bassist John Riley, drummer Charles Caldwell, and organ player Johnny "Big Moose" Walker").
These compositions are less influenced by soul and rock than Seals' albums would be just a few years later, so there are more traditional A-A-B-arrangements here than on his other records, and his lead guitar playing is sharp as shards of broken glass, as gritty as anything you'll ever hear on a 70s blues record. And while "The Son Seals Blues Band" is perhaps not as instantly memorable as the best work of Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf, it is a very enjoyable record even without an obvious replacement for "Hoochie Coochie Man"!
By Docendo Discimus.
The Chicago mainstay's debut album was a rough, gruff, no-nonsense affair typified by the decidedly unsentimental track "Your Love Is like a Cancer." Seals wasn't all that far removed from his southern roots at this point, and his slashing guitar work sports a strikingly raw feel on his originals "Look Now, Baby," "Cotton Picking Blues," and "Hot Sauce" (the latter a blistering instrumental that sounds a bit like the theme from Batman played sideways).
By Bill Dahl. AMG.
Son Seals- (Guitar),(Vocals),
Charles Caldwell- (Drums),
John Riley- (Bass),
Johnny Big Moose Walker- (Organ).
A1. Mother-in-Law Blues 3:12
A2. Sitting at My Window 4:30
A3. Look Now, Baby 3:24
A4. Your Love Is Like a Cancer 4:30
A5. All Your Love 3:34
B1. Cotton Picking Blues 4:38
B2. Hot Sauce (Inst.) 3:04
B3. How Could She Leave Me 3:39
B4. Going Home Tomorrow 3:37
B5. Now That I'm Down 5:58