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Howard & The White Boys
Made In Chicago

Evidence Music Inc.

By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker
9 songs; 48:13 minutes; Splendid Contemporary Blues; Blues-Rock

Dear Abby, er, I mean, Skyy,

I need your advice for some party music. Here’s the scene: 10 -15 people, singles and couples, at our house for a Saturday night soirée. Early on, I want to play great music, preferably Blues, but not slow Blues, nor deep music that requires intent contemplation of the lyrics. This should be a lively party with plenty of conversation, laughter, cocktails, and snacks. I need upbeat contemporary music, yet with a familiar sound providing an energetic back drop for the festivities and a good back beat for those dancing. What can you recommend to kick start this event?

Sincerely,    Euell B. Envited


Dear Euell,

Great name, by the way. Your parents must have had quite a sense of humor. Glad you asked as I have the perfect party album, Made In Chicago by Howard & The White Boys. Here is a CD guaranteed to jump start any “soirée” (whatever that is – sounds kinky).

The album blasts off with a cover of ZZ Top’s “She Loves My Automobile.” Lead guitarist (and producer) Rocco Calipari rips several scorching runs while band namesake and founder Howard McCullum on bass joins Jim Christopulos on drums for a popping rhythm. Watch a guest or two play air-piano based on Daryl Coutts keyboards as he coordinates with second guitarist Pete Galanis.

The second song slows the tempo just enough to allow guests to “Walk Away” to refill their drinks. Coutts’ organ beside Calipari’s guitar opens this song, one of two originals in the nine numbers. Show off some shuffling footwork as the soaring guitar fills the bridge.

Be prepared for someone to ask, “What is he saying about barbeque?” during the third number. Explain that, “some folks like steak and potatoes,...but my baby gives me ‘Good Booty and BBQ.’” Leave the rest to their imaginations while Calipari and Galanis trade call-and-response guitar licks.

The only song even close to slow Blues is track seven, “Cold Cold Feeling.” Howard pours out his finest vocals over his gut bottom bass and rhythm keys provided by guest Dave Friebolin. Calipari and Galanis melt guitar strings with emotive leads during two bridges. By this point, the hooch will be happening enough to nuzzle some neighbor nooky during a slow dance.

The fun the musicians are having on this CD should transport over to your astral affair like Scotty beaming you down another scotch. Fun was the intent, witness guitarist Rocco Calipari describing Made In Chicago as “Some of our favorite tunes by other artists, but done in our own way.” As a Blues fan, you’ll enjoy their covers of a steady shuffling “Yonder Wall,” a full-sound production of “I’m In a Phone Booth Baby,” and an up tempo “Black Cat Bone.”

Have a blast,   Skyy

James “Skyy Dobro” Walker  is a noted Blues writer and Blues Blast contributor

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