Saturday, March 16, 2019

#381 : Nick Schnebelen - Crazy All By Myself

2019 – Vizztone

By Phillip Smith; Mar. 16, 2019

I’ve been a fan of Nick Schnebelen since reviewing Trampled Under Foot’s 2011 release Wrong Side of the Blues for Blues Revue Magazine’s online zine BluesWax.  I remember being in such awe of great talent when I saw the band perform live at Riverside Casino in 2012.  Schnebelen’s Live in Kansas City album, released in 2017, was outstanding, and this brand-new record Crazy All By Myself is absolutely terrific.  Producer/drummer Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, Robert Cray), along with heavy hitters, organist/pianist Mike Finnigan and bassist Hutch Hutchinson form one hell of a rhythm section.

I love the groove Braunagel and bassist Reggie McBride pour over “It Ain’t Me”. Smooth and intoxicating, it washes over me, like a fine bourbon.  Hearing Schnebelen let loose on guitar is pure joy.  Finnigan absolutely cooks on piano for “Ain’t Got Time For the Blues”.  The song is a massive dose of adrenalized blues with more stellar guitar from Nick.  Another song that grabs my full attention is “Alter of Love” which happens to feature one my favorite harp players, Jason Ricci.  This is one positively fabulous.

Schnebelen breaks out some wonderfully delicious slide guitar as he expresses his fondness for Harley Davidsons in the double-entendre loaded bike song “I’m a Fat Boy”.  With “Soul Magic”, the lovely Heather Newman appears on backing vocals, as Nick reveals his prowess as an R&B singer.  “Holding On”, beautifully performed and featuring the great Davy Knowles on guitar, is another favorite. 

Focused and fierce, Schnebelen has taken his music up another notch. Crazy All By Myself is definitely a record for blues fans to take notice of.


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