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JT Coldfire - Crazy Sun


The Texas tradition of hard-charging guitar powered blues is at home, placed in the hands of Austin, Texas’ JT Coldfire. His guitar skills draw from Stevie Ray Vaughn, Freddie King and Albert Collins among others. The usual Texas blues subjects are visited: guns, criminal activity, longing for love…you know the drill. JT and crew bring a freshness to well-charted waters. An authoritative voice, songwriting and the production skills he adds to the stew bring it all home. His aggressive guitar attack is the centerpiece of this disc. It’s the classic rockin’ blues power trio with the occasional assistance of harmonica and piano. Lee Sheffield on bass and Dimon Dixon on drums provide the backbone for JT’s axe adventures.

“Hangin’ Tree” represents the classic “tension and release” device in a tune that sees our hero looking for a tree to end his suffering. A drumstick driven slow shuffle builds into an energy charged rave-up as harmonica joins in the fray. JT comes off as a more laidback SRV on the Texas-boogie of “Johnny’s Gone”, which I think is about a man wrongly accused of a crime. The title tune and “No Time For Sleepin’” are extended guitar workouts, the ladder a Texas shuffle that just burns it up. The device of a pun in the title is employed on the hard-charging “Lee Malone” (Leave Me Alone) about a woman that keeps bugging him.

Just as impressive are the four acoustic forays, my favorites being the country blues “Pistol Lead” and “She’s Crazy”, a late night guitar-piano-drum groove. Mournful dobro sets the scene on “Mr. Jones” were the listener is given a warning on who to mess with. A revival meeting is conjured up in the dobro-infused “Lower That Ladder”. The acoustic guitar playing throughout reveals the same hard attack and/or deft touch shown on the electric bits.

“Bad Day” is an obvious and well-done homage to Bob Dylan in the use of cadence, phrasing and lyrical wordplay. Banzai LARocca weaves his blues harp throughout the mesmerizing tune. Marty Robbins’ Tex-Mex story-songs are given their due in “Sweet Little Isa”.
Electric blues, acoustic country blues and the fringes of blues-rock are given their due here. It does ones’ heart good to see musicians on a mission to keep a regional form alive, all-the-while breathing fresh air into it.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta.

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