2018 – Blues Fidelity
By Phillip Smith; Dec. 15, 2018
It’s a real blessing to hear the blues from those who have spent time playing with the legends. Paul Oscher, an integral part of the blues world since the Sixties, joined Muddy Waters Blues Band at the age of seventeen to play harmonica. With Muddy, he played for around five years. He even shared Muddy’s basement with the legendary pianist Otis Span for a while too. Oscher’s latest album Cool Cat, contains a baker’s dozen of songs, the majority of which are straight-up blues.
Oscher is a blues maestro and his songs strongly connect to the listener. With one exception, which happens to be a marvelous and hypnotizing performance of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”, the album is comprised of all original material. “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” features Mike Keller on guitar, Sarah Brown on bass guitar, Russell Lee on drums, and the backing vocals of Sunny Lowdown and Jeremy Dowden. Miss Lavelle White makes a guest appearance to sing “Dirty Dealing Mama”. This double-entendre packed tune is a huge barrel of fun.
Oscher’s vocals sound wonderful and gravelly as he sits behind the piano on “Money Makin’ Woman”. Guitarist Mick Schemer, bassist Johnny Ace , and drummer Russell Lee make for an outstanding backing band for it too. They appear all together on four other tracks, of which include “Blues and Trouble”, “Hide Out Baby”, “Work That Stuff”, and “Poor Man Blues”.
I’m absolutely delighted by the title track instrumental “Cool Cat”, and the story he tells leading up to it. Recorded as a jazz quartet, this song is dedicated to a flute-playing wine-head who kept a beret-wearing, sunglass-sporting alley cat named Cool Cat. Oscher also recorded a smooth nine-and-a-half minute R&B version of “Cool Cat” at the famed Greaseland Studios with Kid Andersen. It is fantastic.
Oscher keeps the Blues as real as it can get, and keeps Cool Cat cool as hell.
For more information about Paul Oscher, visit his website www.pauloscher.com .
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