The new Altered Five Blues Band album HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME is out today and it is a baker’s dozen of badass blues. One of the stellar groups of the contemporary blues, this five member band out of Milwaukee cranks out 13 infectious tunes with a rhythm that drags you to the dance floor. Led by the barrel chested voice of Jeff Taylor, this musical ensemble, with the help of Grammy award winning producer Tom Hambridge, have created a sure fire 2021 album of the year nominee.
The album comes out of the gate with the title cut, Holler If You Hear Me. Come join the party….let’s ramble and roll…whole lotta shakin’ gonna move your soul….Raise your hands…move your feet…everybody now ….feel the beat. Those lyrics should be on the door mantle of every roadhouse blues joint from Copenhagen to Chicago to Adelaide!
Guilty of a Good Time is another genre defining tune which echoes my sentiments about the roadhouse blues; it’s about hand rolled cigars and a big bar tab among like minded friends! It also features some awesome guitar licks by Jeff Schroedl. If You Go Away (She Might Come Back), All Suit No Soul, and In the Name of No Good are all “pull your Baby to the dance floor” tunes. There are also a couple of belly rubbing tunes in Holding On with One Hand and Leave Before I Let You Down.
If there is one song on the album that kind of brings it all together….the voice of Jeff Taylor….the roadhouse beat….the talent of a tight band with Jeff Schroedl on guitar, Alan Arber on drums, Mark Solveson on bass, and Raymond Tevich on Keyboards, it is Full Moon, Half Crazy! Give it a listen!
The album ends with a heartfelt upbeat tribute to the men and women of the blues that laid the groundwork for all of us that perform, spin, and write about the blues today: Big Shout Out. It includes a literal who’s who of the blues and is a great list of artists for those new to blues to use to become acquainted with in this incredible musical genre.
To say I enjoyed listening to this album while writing this review would be an understatement. It is everything that you could hope for in a roadhouse blues recording; vibrant, upbeat, great musicians, and insightful, witty and thoughtful lyrics. And mark my words…if this recording doesn’t get an album of the year nomination then it is time for me to stop reviewing albums……and that ain’t gonna happen!!!
Altered Five Blues Band – Holler If You Hear Me (2021 Blind Pig Records)
Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB