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Ty Curtis Band - Stubborn Mind
Run Time: 45:15

Do you remember the initial recordings of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang? Do you remember how hungry and how much mainstream crowds embraced them? Ty Curtis and his band of young fellows help me to remember that time. Curtis’ Stratocaster coupled with his baby-faced voice hearkens to what contemporary blues and traditional rock (or as we sometimes call blues-rock). The album was also chosen to go to Memphis for Best Self-Produced Release this year. Recorded last year when the band had only been together for about a year and with two of the members being all of 19 years old, they have a solid base from which to jump to a long, fruitful career.

The album presents mostly rock infused guitar chops that come straight out of any blues-rockers standard playing list. However, give the kid a break, he wrote most of the songs himself, so I give him a solid B for being original. The first track is about as much blues as you’ll get on the album from a traditional point of view, hearkening to the Texas shuffles made popular with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. The song, entitled “Come On” has some decent harp chops by Jeff Grechney over top of some of Curtis’ most tasteful straight-ahead playing on the album coupled with the slow-blues on “What Kind of Fool.”

Curtis has a little way to go vocally. He’s young and sounds like it. I don’t hear the nuance yet that some of the more seasoned guys have. To put it in perspective, I don’t like Jonny Lang or Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s vocals either. Curtis, though has some great rock guitar stylings conjuring thoughts of Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, and Rick Derringer at times. He’s definitely has a blues base surrounding him and, as stated before has a great spring board to leap from and learn form. The song that best fits Curtis vocally is the rock-like “No She Don’t,” leaning on the ballad side a bit.

Curtis and Company has already had a line-up change since this release, as Grechney has went on and the incomparable Hank Shreve has been added on harmonica. With undoubtedly a bit more of traditional blues infused into his recorded work and then adding the rock edge, a la Buddy Guy, Curtis will definitely be a head turner on the national scene. Give him time, he’s only 19 and has plenty of blues to sing and live ahead of him. 

Visit Ty Curtis on the web at his website: or on MySpace. This album is also available from Pacific Blues.

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

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