FREE Subscription - For more information  CLICK HERE



Back To Reviews page

Eddie Martin - Looking Forward Looking Back

Blueblood Records

14 tracks/

About a year ago, I reviewed Eddie Martin’s previous project, a solo acoustic affair that embraced the tradition through a strong batch of original material and Martin’s compelling performances. Now he does a 180 degree shift by plugging in his guitar while getting backing from a band filled with horn players. This time the all-original material pays tribute to the rocking blues of T-Bone Walker, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Elmore James.

Martin is right in the middle of everything, handling all of the vocals and guitar parts while adding doses of harmonica and piano. John Paul Gard covers the bass line and chord fills on his KeyB organ and Richard Law fills the seat behind the drum kit. The exuberant “Little Big Horns” consists of Patsy Gamble on baritone sax, Julie Kimber on tenor sax, trumpeter Steve Trigg and Andy Gilliams on trombone. The presence of Pee Wee Ellis, one of the stars of the James Brown band, on tenor sax further enhances the sonic power of the brass ensemble.

It doesn’t take Martin long to establish that he has a real affinity for the music he is paying homage to, the band roaring through ‘Frog in the Long Grass” before the leader ignites the proceedings with some electrifying slide work on “Sorry for the Rain”, taking a friend to task for all of their wrongdoing. The tension builds at the start of “Wannabe Me” until Martin finally breaks free with a fluid guitar passage. The song encapsulates the Watson style with a driving beat and the horns riffing behind Martin’s barnburner solo. On ‘Let It Slide”, Martin’s vocal bears a striking resemblance to Peter Green’s tone from the glory days of Fleetwood Mac while his frantic slide work with keep your blood pumping.

The disc doesn’t suffer any momentum when the pace slows on cuts like “Supermodel” with Gard getting a chance to shine, but not before Martin shows he can navigate a chromatic harp. Another highlight is the title track as Martin convincingly pleads for the chance to work towards a better life. “Headspace” has a hypnotic pace as Martin threatens to go unhinged if he doesn’t get a chance to catch his breath. There has been plenty of interest in the living dead lately, so Martin penned his own horn-drenched tribute entitled “Zombie Attack” with Gamble delivering a short, memorable sax blast.

The humorous lyrics and Martin’s rollicking piano accent his description of a fateful moment of discovery on “She’s a He”. Gamble and Martin trade robust solos on the up-tempo “I Want That Girl” before Ellis stretches out on the aptly named instrumental “Funky One Too”, his impeccable lines a counterpoint to the leader’s biting fretwork. The final track is also the longest as Martin steadily builds the intensity with his gritty vocal and sizzling slide work.

The well-done packaging includes an eight page booklet with numerous photos and complete song lyrics, completing another strong offering from Eddie Martin. While they don’t blaze any new trails here, Martin and his friends obviously had a lot of fun with this project. The end result is an unrelenting party with multi-talented Martin as the master of ceremonies. I now have a sneaking suspicion that there are similar gems waiting to be discovered amongst Martin’s eleven previous recordings. You can mark this one down as well-worth a listen

Reviewer Mark Thompson retired after twelve years as president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL. and moved to Florida. He has been listening to music of all kinds for over fifty years. Favorite musicians include Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Magic Slim, Magic Sam, Charles Mingus and Count Basie.

To submit a review or interview please contact:

For more information please contact:


Home  |  Contact  |  Submit Your Blues News - Advertise with Blues Blast Magazine
 Copyright - Blues Blast Magazine
2010    Design by: Moxi Dawg Design