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Alan Black - Happy As A Monkey

Self Release


Let me start off by saying this CD has one major glaring flaw…..It is WAY too short. I can’t enough of this Canadian’s back porch and infectious brew of blues. What is it up there across the border that gives them such an authentic handle on the blues? Alan Black handles vocals, drums, harmonica and the brunt of the songwriting with such an ease and grasp of the blues that it boggles the mind. His voice is easy on the ears and well suited to the style. Gary Peeples and a few guests provide more than capable guitar work. Andy Pryde handles bass and co-producer duties.

All songs feature a pleasing interplay of various guitar styles and harmonica giving a loose country- blues groove. The lead track “When I Hear You” is more or less the music of “Good Morning Little School Girl” with new lyrics. I sure can identify with the sentiment of “Reincarnation Blues”. The writer is content with the notion that he will be able to apply the lessons learned in this life to his next one. The tune is an upbeat shuffle containing slide and breathy harp work. Dr. John’s “I Been Hoodood” is given a slow, smoldering blues treatment featuring swampy electric slide guitar.

The band does a credible Canned Heat boogie on “Sink Or Swim”, a lament on the sad state of this mean old world…..I can picture Bob “The Bear” Hite putting his husky pipes to this gem. “I Love To Ramble” is a percussion driven guitar feast. The Gary Peeples penned “Tend To Get The Blues” is enhanced by mournful harmonica and a fresh bent to the lyrics. The perpetually lost war of love is bemoaned in “She’s Winning”-“This war called love”, “It’s the only war were you sleep with the enemy”.

The blues is an easy pill to swallow in the hands of Alan Black and cohorts. Their approach to the blues adds the best of old school and applies it to modern lyrics. The Canadians have a knack for attaining an authentic blues sound. I could sure go for an extra helping of these feel good grooves. I’m eager to hear what the Canadian Delta has to offer next time around. .

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at

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