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Album Review

Delmark Records consistently unearths blues talent heretofore undiscovered, and guitarist/vocalist Quintus McCormick certainly fills that bill. Born in Detroit in 1957, he was listening primarily to rock & roll, but upon a move to Chicago in the late '70s, it took yet another decade for him to discover his calling as a bluesman. This recording shows McCormick has emerged from the shadows of being a sideman (James Cotton, Lefty Dizz, A.C. Reed), leading a band with a horn section and backup singers to present his side of authentic urban music. His acknowledged influence of guitarist Albert King is quite evident in his solos and fills, while vocally he's quite reminiscent of Bobby "Blue" Bland, or former employer/mentor Otis Clay. These songs were written by McCormick, with the stamp of authentic 12-bar blues, a little contemporary soul, and some rocking beats at times. The basic style of tunes like "Get You Some Business," the shuffle "I'm Alright Now," and the lone cover "Let the Good Times Roll" shows McCormick has studied populist blues that appeal to a wider audience. He's also heard his share of Sam Cooke, as reflected in the more soulful "Hot Lovin' Woman," while Clay's Southern-type crossover sound is evident during the slow title track and the swinging, swaying "I'm a Good Man Baby." His chops on guitar, so similar to Albert King that a blindfold test might not reveal the truth, hits home during the appropriately titled "What Goes Around Comes Around," while the rockin', good-time "I Wasn't Thinkin'" also gets down to the core of how the blues should uplift you past any mistake or error of judgment. "Fifty/Fifty" is the most interesting cut, a simmering blues with the able horn trio on the side, where McCormick talks about bringing home the bacon and cheese, while the rest will fall into place. The harmonica playing of Ted Reynolds is solid when he gets a shot to dig in, but the other complements of female vocals as heard on occasion, or the misplaced synth whining of Roosevelt Purifoy, are thankfully only a marginal component of a few tracks. For a debut effort, this is pretty good, holding to the tradition of Chicago blues while taking a few liberties that ensure McCormick will be universally well-liked beyond the well established electric blues tradition. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Hey Jodie!, Quintus McCormick Blues Band
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