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Big Daddy D And The Dynamites – Down, Boy!
Where can you find some good time blues? You might just hit the mother lode with Big Daddy D And The Dynamites’ Down, Boy!
You would think guitarist Duke Robillard had his hand in the production. While the spirit of Roomful of Blues lurks behind the scenes, the band themselves produced this work and it aims on capturing a live vibe that could set crowds on fire.
The biggest strength is in the songwriting by primary writers Drew Hall and Big Daddy Darryl Porras. Bonus points have to be given to these guys for coming up with material that doesn’t steal too much from musical clichés we have been accustomed with for too long.
Saxophonist Gary Regina’s playing colors the songs to push them into smoky after-hours club jazz territories. Hall and Porras’ guitar work together recalls the precision of B.B. King and the ferocity of Michael Bloomfield. There is no sparring off between the two men that would have the effect of a cat fight. Make no mistake about it. This music would be embraced at a club or at a blues festival anywhere in the world. It’s intoxicating enough to make you forget about all your worldly troubles.
If you want to jump-start a blues party, just put this cd on and see the results. Porras original “I Thought I Heard” is a pure house rocker with such a giddy musical take that will wake you up from an eternal sleep. Regina’s sax playing emerges front and center with drummer Carlos B. Jones adding his slithering grooves.
While band members are given enough solo space to strut their stuff, there is no overabundance of solos to take the material beyond time marks it doesn’t need to be.
To guide your ship on your personal oceans of blues, set your sails on the track “I Ain’t Puttin Up with What You’re Putting Down” that draws from the wellspring of deep Chicago Blues. While the song intro somewhat recalls Stevie Ray’s “Riviera Paradise,” it wisely steers clear from any Lone Star state shading.
Safe to say this might be the type of music to look for when everything else is a tired hand. There’s the easy going groove in the slippery greased instrumental “Are You Feeling Me?” Drew Hall’s “Next Train” is aptly titled because the speed it moves on is moderate enough with its bare –bones guitar work. But it’s not too quick-paced to give you a heart attack.
While “Soul Power” in ways can live up to its moniker, it doesn’t become too much a candidate for American Hit Parade. Jones’ quirky time-signature beats might be difficult for a normal blues-rock drummer to grasp. And the guitar playing takes this number into a jam-band spirit that even their contemporaries would find hard to tackle.
Imagine Bo Diddley meeting the Allman Brothers and you wind up with “Welcome Sweet Sunshine” which with its free-wheeling style would go down like hotcakes with the Bonaroo audience wanting to shake it on down. Only the fun doesn’t stop there at this halfway point. In the instrumental “BroomHilda,” you get to catch a breath after moving your tail feather for so long. And “Hip-Deep In The Blues” seems to be the illegitimate son to Muddy Waters’ “Got My Mojo Workin.”
Kudos are to be given to these guys for turning their backs on the too-often blues rock used to get their message across. The biggest compliment the blues can receive is that some individuals are interested in taking elements from the past but are able to modernize them in a way with the best results possible.
Reviewer Gary Weeks is a contributing writer. He resides in Marietta, GA.