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Bobby G Blues Band - Bitter Cup

Length: 51:30

Rating: A Solid Blues Record

One unexpected discovery for me at this year’s Blues on the Fox festival was Aurora, Illinois’ own Bobby G Blues Band at his CD release party after the festival was called due to rain. Bobby G’s a rock-solid bass player who has shared stages with some pretty influential bluesmen, including Larry McCray, the late Willie Kent, and Buddy Guy.

Bobby G’s latest CD features nine original songs, and it kicks off with a firey “Went Out Last Night” that showcases a very talented six-piece blues band. This long, introductory jam sets the stage with fine harp work from Tony Medina, the choice lead guitar chops of Al Spear, followed by some nice touches on rhythm guitar from Orpheus Golden.

Since I got back home from Bobby G’s CD release party in the historic Leland Building, I’ve listened to Bitter Cup a half-dozen times. Four of the nine songs clock in at over six minutes each, and while that may challenge some radio programmers, I like the way Bobby G provides opportunities for each of his sidemen to stretch out and strut their stuff.

While there’s some pretty hard-charging blues on Bitter Cup, Bobby G and the guys slow it down a bit on two romantic ballads tailor-made for the dance floor: “Miracle” and “Lovely Night for Romance.” Bobby G’s working to promote live blues music in the far Western Suburbs of Chicagoland, and I recommend this outfit highly. Live, they mix up the set lists with some inspired versions of classic covers, and I enjoyed “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” the night I first discovered this band. I was pleasantly surprised at Tony Medina on congas, and the twin keybards, too, that contributed to the band’s big sound.

Follow Bobby G and his band on his MySpace page, and check out live audio recorded at the Ballydoyle Pub (Blues on the Fox’ official after party club) at courtesy of FM 95.9, The River.

Eric Steiner is the President of the Washington Blues Society in Seattle, Washington.   The Society was the recipient of the 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive Award in the blues organization category. Contact Eric at for more information.

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