Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Album Review Blue House's Shake Your Butt

Blue House & Sgt PepperThursday, November 10, 2005

Artist: Blue House
Title: Shake Your Butt

Over the past decade Blue House has become one of the area’s most popular live music acts. From my perspective much of this is due to the incessant marketing efforts of band leader, drummer, and vocalist Joe Putjender. However, it would remiss to discount the musicians in the band as being anything other than quite, quite good. Blue House is a polished horn-driven, pop-music, R n’ B six piece band that, on their latest album Shake Your Butt, appear to be exploring musical textures beyond the confines that generally restricts bands with less talented members. This is their fourth album and while the very nature of their genre prevents them from becoming a national touring act they are, nonetheless, exciting, tasty soloists, and dadgumit just plain fun!

On the track, “Sweet Jelly” or on, “du schoene tanzer” (beautiful dancer) the band spreads it wings and ventures into beautiful sound-scapes. Not to forgo, “who brought’em to the dance” they contrast these new sonic efforts with their traditional styles; boppin’ dance tunes and the now obligatory cheesy-schtick. Especially corny are the songs, suspiciously inspired by the band’s close relationship with KEZO FM powerhouse morning team Todd & Tyler, “Jenna’s Got a Harley” and “Shake Your Butt.” (*)

Blue House pays a proper homage to the late great John Lee Hooker, who made a career out of ripping off his own musical catalogue, with the not even vaguely disguised rip off Hooker’s “Boom Boom” on the song, “dog pound”... which includes a tasty interplay between saxophone players Stan Harper, Scott Vicroy, Joel Edwards and guitarist Wink. Not surprisingly the drums are up front and snappy as vocalist Putjender growls out his best Howlin’ Wolf imitation though much of the recording. And much like the Rollin’ Stones it often appears that the guitar reinforces the drive of Putjender’s drum with sharp chords and sassy solos.

Overall, this is a very strong album that stands up to repeated listening and worth your precious ear time.

In a recent conversation with Putjender we discussed using this talented vehicle to push the limits of local recordings by exploring well outside of the established ‘Blue House’ sound. Personally I hope they choose to take a musical left curve. On, ‘Shake Your Butt’ the band shows all the indications of having the ability to explore: this band has the ability to create a musical piece of art that few, if any, other local bands could produce. While I don’t intend to denigrate the band by making an overtly ridiculous comparison, I suggest that this band should consider making the equivalent of THEIR Sgt. Pepper’s album next.


(*) Speaking of Todd & Tyler, while their Pro-gambling, anti-Republican, anti-Nebraska football, redneck-philosophizing antagonistic routine can predicitably drone on, (love'ya guys!) our community owes a great deal to these two yobs. Instead of sitting comfortably in the catbird seat as the area’s top rated radio program, and complacency is the soup d’jour for commercial radio, Todd n' Tyler offer the power of their bully pulpit to promote local & traveling musicians to reach a massive audience that is otherwise out of reach and out of budget. These guys are 100% Pro-Omaha and they deserve our respect and gratitude for choosing to ‘put up’ and not ‘shut up.’ Specifically, Journal Broadcasting in general is leading the charge to tie back to local musical talent and, from these 'Tired Eyes' their efforts have not gone unnoticed nor unappreciated.

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