Saturday, June 23, 2018

#338 : Little Boys Blue w/Kid Memphis - Hard Blue Space

2018 – Vizztone
Release Date :  June 1, 2018

By Phillip Smith; June 23, 2018

Forged in Tennessee, Little Boys Blues keeps pumping out solid southern blues music.  Their latest album, Hard Blue Space brings guitarist John Holiday (aka Kid Memphis) into the mix, as he rips it up with singer/harmonica player JD Taylor for ten luscious original songs.  Holiday played the role of Carl Perkins in the 2005 Johnny Cash bio-film Walk the Line.  Taylor actually played gigs with Perkins himself.  The band also consists of drummer Mark Brooks, bassist Dave Mallard, and guitarist Alex Taylor.  Guests include guitarists and slide players Andrew White, Wes Henley, and Brad Webb, with Dave Thomas on keys. 

The first cut “Six Foot Down” tells the story of a broken heart beyond repair.  Taylor’s smoky vocals are reminiscent of John Hiatt’s and hover above gobs of juicy harp, a heart-pounding beat, and a lot of laidback slide.  “Loving Kind” takes a walking blues stroll and is topped with nice bluesy licks from Kid Memphis.  Changing pace and slowing it down a bit, “Blues Bug” is wonderful and right in the pocket.   

I’m immediately caught up in the intoxicating rhythm of “Got a Mind of Your Own”.  Swirling sounds of the B3, and Taylor’s magnificent harp playing perfectly accent this one as Kid Memphis plays guitar with a cool Robert Cray vibe.  The ghosts of North Mississippi must’ve been present on the recording of “If the Blues Start Calling”.  The song’s infectious groove is so downright dirty, it sounds fabulous.      

Hard Blue Space from Little Boys Blue w/ Kid Memphis is a grand slam. This pairing is a delight to hear.  They were definitely made for each other.   


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