2020 – Adam Gussow and Roderick Patterson
Sir Rod & the Blues Doctors is a collaboration between Adam Gussow, the master harp player of Satan & Adam, and Roderick Patterson aka Sir Rod. Sir Rod a vocalist, dancer, and motivational speaker from the Atlanta-area also happens to be the nephew of Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee. Magee is the other half of the incredible blues duo Satan & Adam. After watching the highly-rated documentary Satan & Adam last year, Sir Rod contacted Gussow to suggest they join forces to record a few songs as a tribute. One thing led to another, and they gave birth to this wonderful new blues album, Come Together. Sir Rod takes on lead vocals, as Gussow brings it on harp/percussion along with fellow blues doctor Alan Gross on guitar.
The album opens up with a blast of riveting original blues on title-track “Come Together”. The harp is hot, and the vocals are delivered with soulful conviction. This is a song of the times which bears a positive message. “I Want You”, another original song, fills me with joy with every listen. I can’t help but smile when I hear it. Sir Rod shines as songwriter, and pianist on “So Mean”. It’s a beautiful song filled will heart-stirring emotion.
Sir Rod & the Blues Doctors pay an honorable homage to Satan & Adam through a few songs. “Sanctified Blues”, a delicious slice of delta blues, takes me back to sounds of Mississippi when I hear it. Rod’s vocals remind me a lot of Chris Robinson’s on “Seventh Avenue”. I absolutely love this song delivered in a Black Crowes-inspired fashion. “Freedom for My People” is terrific as well. A song of unity and freedom, it cuts through right through to the bone.
The covers they chose for the album are plumb great. They absolutely cook on James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)”. Then immediately following, they bring the blues back home on a fabulous rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster”. For an album closer, they get down on Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”. Rod’s raspy growls, tossed in like little grenades, are fabulous.
Come Together is a remarkable recording from beginning to end. Blues fans will surely want to give this a listen.
* Note: Just as I was writing this review, I sadly found out Sterling Magee, passed away on September 6th, at the age of 84 in Gulfport, due to complications from COVID-19. Condolences to Roderick, Adam, and all of Sterling’s family and friends.
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