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Album Review

Many of Chicago's blues clubs could be described as "blues and soul clubs" because that's exactly what they are. Although blues is the main focus of those West Side, South Side, and North Side venues, so many of the artists they book include a lot of R&B in their sets. One of those soul-minded bluesmen who lives in Chi-Town is Detroit native Quintus McCormick, whose Put It on Me is a perfect example of an album that has one foot in electric urban blues and the other in soul (specifically, old-school soul of the ‘60s and '70s variety). Actually, McCormick's résumé says a lot about his musical outlook; he has been a sideman for both James Cotton and Otis Clay, and that explains why he handles blues and soul equally well on this 2010 recording. There's no missing the strong Jimmy Reed influence on "You Just Using Me," and McCormick's electric blues credentials are just as evident on "The Blues Has Been Good to Me," "Don't Know What to Do," "Lady Blue," and the title song. But R&B is the main ingredient on "Talk Baby," "Say Lover," and "Loveland" (which might have been a hit on R&B radio had it come out in the mid-‘70s instead of the early 2010s). And McCormick successfully blends electric blues with African-American gospel on "Hallelujah," which is the only spiritually inclined track on a predominantly secular album. Clearly, Put It on Me is not an album that caters to blues purists; although blues-friendly, it is by no means blues-exclusive (which is something that McCormick never claimed to be). And if one understands that going in, it is easy to enjoy this solid outing from the Detroit native turned Chicago resident.

Put It On Me!, Quintus McCormick Blues Band
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