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Douglas Watson R&B Revue - Broken Hearted Man

WILT Music


Wow! The first thing you notice is that big booming textured VOICE. Think a bigger-voiced and bluesy Lou Rawls. Being raised in Chicago by blues pianist “Lovie Lee” Watson and wife has paid off big time for prodigal son Douglas Watson. He grew up listening to his father practice with Muddy Waters at their house. At different times the elder Watson also accompanied Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and B.B. King. Douglas himself played sessions with Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks and others, as well as being a member of A.C. Reed And the Sparkplugs. Now working out of Canada, Douglas and band do themselves proud on this mini-cd.

I guess quality beats quantity, but being so talented I’m sure they could have rustled up four more tunes. Well for now, I’m happy just being introduced to this talented singer and his crack band. Douglas also doubles as a serviceable bass player. Producer Pat Temple supplies a tasty harmonica and Chris Latta is an all-around guitar player. Maciej Lukasiewicz energizes the songs with his powerhouse drumming. Special guests flesh out the sound with organ, sax and background vocals.

The title track kicks in with harmonica and the sax of John MacMurchy in tandem, negotiating through every tight turn. Then hear comes that voice, followed by a ripping guitar solo courtesy of Chris Latta. Harmonica takes the horn part on a riveting version of “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”, here called “When You Got a Heartache”, usually associated with Bobby “Blue” Bland and Van Morrison. Douglas’ voice goes from a rasp to the deep bottom in the course of the song like a soulful dive-bomber. Watson original “The Best Way I Can” is funky all over with swagger in his “proud peacock’ vocal. Some sexy sax cements the deal. Cool slow soul territory is explored in “Let’s Straighten It Out” replete with organ, sax and harp and another biting guitar solo.

Do we need another cover of Z.Z. Hill’s blues standard “Down Home Blues”? The answer would be yes in this case, if you are partial to spot-on vocals, guitar and the harp-sax section revisited. The short journey winds up with another slow soul-burner. “Please Don’t Let Our Good Thing End” gets uplifted by churchy organ and a John MacMurchy sax solo and over-dubbed sax section.

The band readily handles blues, R&B and soul music with professional ease on this satisfying effort. I think Oliver Twist would back me up in saying: “Please, sir, I want some more”.

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

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