THE RANDY STEPHENS BAND No Strings Attached
Here, you get what it says on the tin – Florida blues, straight and direct with no frills and no monkeying about. No surprise maybe that a tune named Bad Economy features Stephens’ times-is-hard, downbeat vocal, it’s an impressive stretching number with stratospheric guitar flying over Randy McCormick’s bass and Carl Grieco’s drums, it sounds traditional but it’s a new, proclaiming blues. The band’s playing on Everybody Knows The Blues might seem like they’re winging it, on the lam, but the pieces, the fills, the patterns, dovetail with comforting predictability. The re-write of Al Bernard’s 1921 Read ‘em And Weep presents a contrast of accelerated jazzier keyboards vamping. that sounds like it was taped live and like the boys were having a real ball.
RSB are, however, all about straight down the middle, meaty electric guitar blues, feedback lurking just under the surface, and there’s a “don’t mess with us” sonic menace, scarcely hidden. If you like your blues rough, tough, with a working man’s sensibility and laden with Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster grace and muscle, you’ll love the hell out of this.