To me, Al Basile is the Randy Newman of the blues. A talented song writer, as well as cornet player who has been playin’ for over forty years, Al has a nice vocal delivery similar to Randy’s and a penchant for songs that paint vivid images. His last recording, Mid-Century Modern, was nominated for 2016 Contemporary Blues Album of the year and his new album, Quiet Money, delivers some great forties and fifties style R&B and swing with the backing of Duke Robillard (who also produced the album) and several members of his former band, Roomful of Blues. If you like your blues smooth and primarily upbeat, you are gonna love it!
I enjoyed Put Some Salt on It and Simple Ain’t Easy It which feature some nice guitar playin by the Duke. On Time Is Now, Al lays down a cornet solo that is great. And my favorite song on the CD is You Got Two…..give it a listen and you tell me if he doesn’t channel a bit of Randy Newman… blues style!
Another song that really struck me on the album was Who’s Gonna Close My Eyes? It is a story of a lonely man who has outlived his family and is contemplating who will be there for his last days. It’s a pretty slow song set to an R&B beat with plenty of the horns that Al loves so much.
In an age when flash and shock value seems to count for more than they should, here’s my bet on Quiet Money…..Tasteful and thought provoking blues can still deliver!!
Al Basile – Quiet Money Sweetspot Records 2017