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Goin' Back to Dallas

Darrell Nulisch

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Album Review

Best known as a soul vocalist who gravitates toward the blues, Darrell Nulisch "returns to his roots," as the cliché goes and press materials claim, on this stripped-down release. It was recorded live in the studio with his touring quartet of veterans, which provides a live, gritty feel somewhat, but not entirely disconnected from the singer/harpist's previous work in a smoother, soul-based vein. Despite the title, which pertains to Nulisch's home state (he was born in Dallas), the sessions were recorded in Severne, MD. Still, the style is closer to his early work as vocalist for Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets. That's particularly true of Jon Moeller's reserved, clean, yet powerful guitar lines that seem to have been inspired by Funderburgh's similar approach. This is an ensemble recording with no one member hogging the spotlight as the band runs through standard Texas blues shuffles and slow blues with confidence and class. Four Nulisch originals integrate seamlessly with covers from fellow Texans Jimmy Reed and Freddie King. James "Thunderbird" Davis' "Blue Monday" is a particularly inspired choice along with Junior Wells' "Come on in This House" and a few lesser-known nuggets from Chicago's Sonny Boy Williamson II, "She's My Baby" and the slow blues "Too Young to Die." Perhaps most enticing for blues fans is that Nulisch uses the occasion to play more harmonica than on previous releases. Since the emphasis has always been — and remains — on his sand-and-honey vocals, Nulisch's impressive harmonica skills have often taken a backseat. That's not the case here; he bursts out of the opening track blowing harp and wails on it for all but a few of the remaining ten tunes. Nulisch's voice remains a unique instrument, instantly recognizable even though there are obvious similarities to Kim Wilson, another Texas-born harmonica-playing frontman. While on the surface there isn't much distinctive about this meat-and-potatoes set, the playing is consistently top-notch and Nulisch sounds inspired. He locks together with his band to produce a low-key vibe that is deceptively simple to create. Few blues acts can find this groove, let alone harness it for an entire album, but Nulisch and company ease into it and let it ride for 40 minutes of sturdy yet malleable Texas blues.

Customer Reviews

Feel like Ramblin

Pretty good blues here. I always liked Darrell, and he's put out a good modern blues record right here. Buy it, won't you? Peace.

Goin' Back to Dallas

Darrell Nulisch is the genuine article when it comes to soulful expression. He disproves the notion that "white boys can't sing the blues." Darrell is truly one of the best in the business---regardless of color, shade or hue! (And he's one hell of a guy, too.)

Biography

Born: September 14, 1952 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Darrell Nulisch was born in Dallas, TX, in 1952. He grew up on soul singers like Otis Redding and Al Green, inspiring him to take up a similar path and work on his voice. He was a founding member of Anson Funderburgh's Rockets and sang with that group in the '80s, when he also did time in groups like Ronnie Earl's Broadcasters. He eventually left Texas and started a solo career in 1991, relocating to Boston and releasing albums that showcased his incredible blues-harmonica skills and his passionate...
Full Bio
Goin' Back to Dallas, Darrell Nulisch
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