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Shake for Me

The Mannish Boys

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Album Review

Through five years, and over as may CDs, the rotating personnel of the Mannish Boys constituted an impressive array of rhythm-section member and special guest all-stars. Shake for Me displays this potpourri of blues musicians on some classic tunes and those written by select bandmembers, each one with a special, customized feeling. With personnel ranging from duets up to horn-fired big-band charts, this quintessential backup band takes center stage on their way to deserved recognition as a premier blues group in their own right. Among the classics they cover are "Mona" welded onto the Johnny Otis evergreen "Willie & the Hand Jive" in bompity-bomp fashion à la Bo Diddley, with Bobby Jones singing; the slow jazz shuffle penned by Ray Charles, "Hey Now," again with the irrepressible Jones (check out his CD with the Mannish Boys as his backup band, Comin Back Hard); "You Can't Be Beat," a quintessential Chi-Town/Howlin' Wolf blues; Little Walter's "Last Night" with mighty harmonica man Rod Piazza; the get-down Muddy Waters number "Champagne & Reefer"; and "Number Nine Train" in a loose Hound Dog Taylor style also make the cut. Randy Chortkoff's "Educated Ways" is an original that stands out with a Bill Doggett sound, as does the lengthy jam "Those Worries" featuring Lynwood Slim on the harp. Other guests and past standout Mannish Boys include vocalists Jones, Finis Tasby or Kirk Fletcher, the legendary Arthur Adams, and harmonica specialists Mitch Kashmar, Johnny Dyer, Big Pete Van Der Pluijrn, Chortkoff, pianist Rob Rio, and guitarist Kid Ramos. The core band of guitarists Nick Curran and Franck Goldwasser, keyboardist Fred Kaplan, and drummer Jimi Bott have surrounded themselves with so many dynamic and distinctive performers for this set, making for a mind-blowing program of diverse blues that cannot help but be a top blues CD for 2010 and beyond. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Almost Each Track Is Perfect !

Their expertise shows and almost each track is perfect – you can tell that these musicians are not only stylistically similar, but that they enjoy playing together. The lyrics are funny and smart, and sung with extreme style from each of the three vocalists. “Well you say you can't go on living/if you can't be by my side/gonna send you a drink of poison/please commit suicide” the singer on “You've Got Bad Intentions” says. Other tracks are an ode to having fun, like “Champagne & Reefer.” Others are about life (“Too Tired”) and love (“You Can't Be Beat”), but all of them make a specific point.

The entire album is full of songs that make you want to dance; there are always guitar parts that make your mouth drop, harmonica parts that add an addictive melody, bass lines that add a particular groove, and drums that make the whole thing swing. It's as near to perfection as you can ask a band to get – and what else would you expect from the Mannish Boys?

Abbey K. Davis

You are the Mannish!

I like this album a lot. It is on my picks of the week! You are never to young or too old to have the blues!

Shake for Me, The Mannish Boys
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Blues, Music, Rock
  • Released: Mar 16, 2010

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