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Gerry Hundt - Since Way Back
Run Time:  50:53

Gerry “The Utility Man” Hundt first sprang on the scene back in his college days, recording a little known record with college buddy John-Alex Mason aptly titled Mason & Hundt and from there got snatched up by Nick Moss after Moss heard him play harmonica for Easy Bill in Chicago. Hundt’s been a staple of Moss’ Flip Tops ever since as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and road-savvy new blood on the south side of Chicago.

Hundt’s knowledge of the music and it’s origins are played out well, as he serves up a wholesome slice of the gritty, harsh realities of the Windy City brought up Johnny Young/Yank Rancell style with his mandolin-induced musings of the Southside motifs of drinking, loving, hurting, and being a player in the home of the electric blues.

Hundt growls a la Paul Butterfield in a confident swagger that “It’s put up or shut up if you wanna play here in Chicago” on track 12 of the disc and rightly puts his money where his mouth is through the bumps, stomps, and slow burners that have become the penchant of Nick Moss’ Blue Bella label.

Hundt’s BMA-nominated performance is aided by a crack band of the Blue Bella stable with Moss on bass, Willie Oshawny on keys, Bill Lupkin on harp, and Josh Stimmel of Kilborn Alley on guitar, and Bob Carter on drums. Calling this an all-star jam would be drastically underestimating Hundt’s ability to lead us through the down-home slice of authenticity at its finest. The songs are tightly arranged but everyone is still given room to unleash their fire. Lupkin, at times, hearkens to James Cotton’s recordings with Johnny Young, rolling us over with his thick tone and burning to shine. Stimmel, the youngest in the group, is not frightened by the world around him and flawlessly switches between rhythm and lead before you know what hits you, and along with the searing, sharp sword of Hundt’s mandolin solos leaves you re-listening again to confirm what you had previously heard.

Hundt does well to steer clear from imitation of the masters before but doesn’t forget them either. He gives us something new and different than the regular fare but serves it to us in something that sounds like déjà vu. You know you’ve heard it, you just can’t figure out where but you don’t care to go looking for it because Hundt’s given it to you now. Well, if you can makes sense of that last sentence than you’ll surely be able to convince yourself of going out and nabbing this record, and it will be a perfect compliment to any of the rest of the Blue Bella catalog.

Hundt’s disc is available at all major record outlets. You can find out more about Gerry and Co. by visiting Blue Bella Records on the web or at  

Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.

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