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The Lowdown Throwdown

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Album Review

Ike Cosse's debut for London-based JSP came about after the label's owner heard a copy of the bluesman's self-produced cassette. With The Lowdown Throwdown, Cosse proved capable of attacking the full range of blues styles; "Dog Dang Shoot" is straight Chicago material, while "Hell to Pay" offers James Brown-style funk and "Let It Happen" recalls classic R&B balladry. What's most appealing about The Lowdown Throwdown is Cosse's lyrical directness; he prefers plain speech over metaphor, describing experiences with past romantic conquests ("I Just Wanna Rent") and strip club employees ("Bang Bang Girls") with humor and frankness. Cosse's vocals are a bit on the thin side, which is especially troublesome when he writes above his range, as on "My Baby's So Cynical." But after all, Cosse isn't setting out to be the next Bobby "Blue" Bland; he comes across on The Lowdown Throwdown as a highly individual entertainer confident in his ability to make the audience relate to his songs. Each time you start to think he's sounding too full of himself, he lets loose with a brilliant bit of self-deprecating humor. And he's not above completely hamming it up when necessary, as on one perfect couplet from "You're the Man," which recounts his attempt to move back home after leaving his father's house: "My door is always open to you for dinner/But your room is now the aerobics center."


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Guitarist and vocalist Issac "Ike" Cosse has been leading a band called the Coldbloods around the San Francisco Bay area for the last 20 years. Cosse took his earliest musical inspiration from guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix, and he played jazz and fusion for some time before settling on the blues. Cosse joined the band of saxophonist Joe Puttley in 1983 and learned the finer points of blues playing from him, as well as the need to be an entertainer when on the bandstand....
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The Lowdown Throwdown, Ike Cosse
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