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You've Got the Problem

Dr. Duke Tumatoe

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Album Review

What sets Duke Tumatoe apart from the mob of contemporary guitarists who practice the blues these days is his sense of humor. He usually finds something to chuckle about in the barroom tales he spins, where the pain and misery on display is more often than not self-inflicted and just as often hilariously ironic, at least in Duke's view. Oh, he falls into the trap of tired blues clichés occasionally, which is pretty much endemic in the genre, but then he pops out with a song like "My Baby Is a Nudist" and all is forgiven. At some point when you're down and out you have to laugh to keep from crying, and that's apparently Dr. Tumatoe's philosophy. You've Got the Problem! doesn't break any new ground in this regard, mixing stock blues pieces with goof ball gems like the aforementioned "My Baby Is a Nudist" and the whiskey-drenched title tune, both of which would stand a chance on the country charts if the commercial music industry wasn't so darn divisional. Also worth mentioning here is the mostly acoustic "Mudcat Man" and the closing track, "Moanin' After Blues," which has a wonderful afterhours feel thanks to some jazzy trumpet lines from P.J. Yinger. Elsewhere the album plays by the numbers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there are approximately one thousand hard working but creatively challenged guitar slingers out there doing this exact sort of generic blues stuff, so it is a little disappointing when the Duke falls into the same bag. When he unleashes that delightfully wicked wit, though, he rises above the mob and becomes something special.

Customer Reviews

You've Got the Problem

1988 Indianapolis, Indiana. I saw a lot of Duke Tomato at the Biker parties and in the Jam cellar(?) when I was working upstairs at Locomotions. Great, fun partying music. He has a live album recorded in Indy that to me is the best because it has audience participation in it. I hope that one makes it here soon. I have it at home. Korvette Katt--Florida

Dr. Duke is the real deal.

I first saw Dr. Duke in 1977 in Champaign-Urbana Illinois at Panama Reds. He was smokin' red hot back then and darned if he hasn't gotten wickedly hotter after all these years. It is too bad that there are only two offerings on iTunes for the listeners to buy. He has written some of the wittiest tunes that I have ever heard. If you have a chance go out and buy his album called "Ejukatid Man"- you will see what I am writing about. Enjoy these tunes. They are darned good. But, if you like what you hear here, delve deeper into his discography it is worth investigating. Catch Dr. Duke Live if you have the opportunity. His music on his CD's--tremendous, but live he is unbelievable. He is a consummate showman.

Friday night dancing, great time - guaranteed!

Growing up most of my life in Chicago I have seen "The Duke" many, many times - mostly in the 80's. The Duke is just an encredible intertainer. He looks at you with those big eyes of his, his great, cool band is playing in the background, and then he plays his guitar. Quite honestly, then, you're hooked,............forever! I have bought quite a few of his albums in the past and they have NOT lived up to that great LIVE feeling. Duke Tumatoe's, "You've got the Problem" finally has IT! I recommend playing this CD after your Friday night guests are on their 2nd drink of the evening. Guaranteed, you'll have a dancing, great party for the rest of the evening! Blues me Duke!

Biography

Born: 1947 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Chicago-born Duke Tumatoe is a musician/showman who has retained a firm career by fusing gritty R&B, rock, blues, and funk injected with equal parts humor and gut-level sincerity. Tumatoe was a founding member of what would become REO Speedwagon. His tenure with that band was short-lived, leaving in 1969 and forming Duke Tumatoe & the All-Star Frogs. For the next 13 years, they toured relentlessly playing throughout the Midwest on countless college campuses and bars. Because of this grueling...
Full Bio
You've Got the Problem, Dr. Duke Tumatoe
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