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Matt Hill And The Deep Fryed 2 – Tappin’ That Thang

Deep Fryed Vizztone

11 tracks; 41.36 minutes

Matt Hill broke through in 2010 with “On The Floor”, an album that won him the Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut and two Blues Blast nominations. “On The Floor” was produced by Bob Margolin but for this album Matt recorded with Felix Reyes in Chicago. Eight of the songs on the CD are originals and Matt sticks to a trio format with his band The Deep Fryed 2 (great name!): Paul Niehaus, bass and B/V and Joe Meyer, drums, plus a single backing vocalist, Nikki Hill.

Title track “Tappin’ That Thang” is by Yank Rachell and provides a great opener to the album with a slow boogie beat and suggestive lyrics, reinforced by the CD artwork! The other covers are Roy Orbison’s “Down The Line” which is given a classic rock and roll treatment with some excellent percussion effects and guitar work, and AC/DC’s “Let Me Put My Love Into You”. That choice will not surprise Matt’s fans as he covered one of the Australians’ tunes on the previous album too! On an album which is generally hard hitting and upbeat this track counts as something of a quiet interlude!

The first original is “Same Old F***ing Thing”, a song with a rousing chorus and an amusing lyric about the tedium of the everyday routine. Nevertheless, the choice of adjective will limit the opportunity for airplay which is a shame as it is a great piece of rockabilly (co-written by Matt and drummer Joe Meyer). The whole band wrote “Ain’t No Boy” which takes a look at old-school soul, Matt’s guitar using some of Steve Cropper’s rhythm tricks with a chorus of “I ain’t a boy, I’m a man” that could have been written for Sam & Dave.

The remaining originals are all Matt’s work, starting with a ballad “Always Alone” which provides quite a contrast to much of the album and Matt’s vocal ventures into soul as well as country influences here. Normal service is resumed on “Crude Man”, a real rock and roll piece clocking in at just over two minutes. The title refers not to manners but oil exploitation: “I don’t give a damn about you and your land, I’m a crude man”. “Mow My Baby Down” is deep into John Lee Hooker territory, a song about getting revenge on a cheating woman. “Caramel Baby” has more of a jump rhythm and could have been a lost BB King song whilst “High And Dry” bounces along with some nice twanging guitar, also a feature of “Soul Twang” though here the guitar is placed within an instrumental tune with definite Memphis roots.

Matt and his band have created a range of styles to suit different tastes to create a solid follow-up to “On The Floor”. If you have not yet caught Matt’s stage show, make sure you see him next time he passes your way – he is a dynamic and amusing performer. Meanwhile I can recommend that you check out this release.

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He also travels to the States most years to see live blues music and enjoyed the Tampa Bay Blues Festival in April.

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