2015 –Blind Pig Records
By Phillip Smith; July 4, 2015
Boom Town, the latest release from Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots, is chockfull of boogie-laced blues and tasty jams. Wainwright, who rightfully claimed the Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year for 2013 and 2014, leads this fantastic eight person band called, the Wildroots through thirteen spirited New Orleans flavored selections. Hearing him rip into the piano while laying down a truck load of boogie woogie on “Two Lane Blacktop Revisited” will leave no doubt why he pulled down that award twice already.
It’s amazing to hear the different directions to which Wainwright can take his voice. From a comforting tone, in the spiritually moving “When the Day is Done”, to being bad-ass and sinister, in “Reapers on the Prowl”, where he goes all “Wolfman Jack” in his conversation with the Grim Reaper. Guitarist JP Soars, fellow Southern Hospitality collaborator with Wainwright is a guest performer on “The Devils Bite”, a Cab Calloway influenced tune. This dark and rootsy track brings to mind Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads album.
The slow and easy “WildRoot Farm” makes for a cool little duet featuring Patricia Ann Dees. This one will have you on the front porch sipping iced tea on a hot summer day, taking in the aromas of a freshly prepared southern style dinner. Stephen Kampa rolls out a sweet harmonica accompaniment which totally sets that laid-back mood.
BoomTown culminates into an amazing instrumental jam at the end with “WildRoot Rumble”. This is my favorite track on the album, and I play it loud. Stephen Dees and Nick Black bring it on with rambling guitars, Kampa kills it on harmonica, Billy Dean keeps the furious beat going on drums, and Wainwright pounds the hell out of the piano. This is what it’s all about!