2016 – Mississippi Delta Records
By Phillip Smith; Dec. 10, 2016
Jackson, Mississippi recording artist Stevie J. Blues is serving up some great tunes on his latest release Back 2 Blues. Incorporating down-home blues, and hot buttered soul, his music is loaded with outstanding guitar licks, smooth vocals, funky bass-lines, and old-time gospel-inspired beats.
A friendly swaying groove, peppered with blasts of brass from The Jackson Horns, surrounds Stevie J. as he invites the world to just show a “Lil’ Mo’ Love”. Holding nothing back, he then full-on embraces the funk in a classic George Clinton “P-Funk” style on “Good Good”, firing off hot guitar licks guided by a catchy rhythm laid down by drummer Nick Merisaul and keyboardist Kendrick Hart. Produced and co-written by the multi-talented “Saint” Anthony Dalcoe (Curtis Mayfield, James Brown), this track stands out in a big positive way.
Gospel-flavored trance beats, swampy slide guitar and the flowing sounds of Scott Albert Johnson on harp bring a delicious authenticity to “Come See Me”. One can feel the heartfelt emotion hanging in the air as Stevie J. sings about lost love in “Another Jody Song”. This killer bluesy heartbreaker was written by Omar Cunningham, who also appears on the backing vocals.
Stevie J. rips it up on guitar, capturing my attention as he enlightens us with the story of his path to the blues, while being the “Son of a Sanctified Preacher”. This follows with a spirited performance of “Stranger in the City”, a song dedicated to his late mother, and featuring Dwayne Watkins and Dr. MJ Johnson. Back 2 Blues closes out with a terrific instrumental blues jam called “Blues By the Bay”. I could listen to this all day.