DENNIS JOHNSON Slide Avenue
This album basically does what it says on the tin, numerous blues styles, the common denominator being the excellent guitar work. On opener Swingin’ At The Savoy guitarist/vocalist Johnson gives us a swing track featuring Sam Levine on sax, Tim Metz on drums and David O’Keefe on bass, augmented with some slick slide work. Robert Johnson’s Terraplane Blues has its roots in the blues, but here is given a country approach with quick picking. Johnson gets his twelve string Dobro out for another Johnson cover Phonograph Blues, a nice acoustic, delta style blues track. Next up we have a New Orleans feel with Rollin’ On The River, snappy snare work from Metz and violin in the mix courtesy of Joe Craven. Back On My Feet introduces Kirt Shearer on piano, a shuffle track with a nod to Elmore James’ style slide riffs. On the ballad Ain’t Nobody’s Fool, Johnson duets with Caitlin O’Leary over his acoustic work and Shearer on the organ. The Wind Is Howlin’ is loosely based on an Elmore James track and with its easy pace and solid slide work, could be my favourite. Shearer’s B3 skills come to the fore on Turn Your Lamp Down Low, guaranteed to be a live favourite with its crisp pace, snappy lyrics and slick slide riffs. We go back to basics for another Robert Johnson cover Hellhound On My Trail, just voice and dobro. To round things off we have the acoustic bluegrass like She Looks Good, a simple blues track just featuring acoustic guitar and violin, trading riffs. A super ending to an interesting, mostly acoustic, album.