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Blues with a Taste of New Orleans by Keith Stone with Red Gravy

(2018) Self-Released

 

Last updated 10/11/2018 at 9:22am | View PDF

Blues with a Taste of New Orleans by Keith Stone with Red Gravy

Keith Stone is a Blues man who has been haunting the streets of New Orleans for years, trading guitar licks with local masters, learning his trade one chord at a time. He released an album called The Prodigal Returns in early 2016. Now he's teamed with Red Gravy, a longtime Crescent City Blues ensemble. The name, predictably, is Keith Stone with Red Gravy, and let me tell you it's a tasty match.

Stone plays lead guitar and sings like he means it. He also wrote all the songs, with assistance from his backing trio, which consists of Tom Worell on keyboards, Kennan Shaw on bass, and Eddie Christmas on drums. Let's go over the album, shall we....

Track #1 is "Ain't that the Blues," which blends Blues and funk, and features screaming-cat slide guitar by guest Brent Johnson. Up next comes "Love Done Put Me Down," propelled by solid syncopated drumming and bass, with Worell's hot fingers on the keys. The moody "You Ain't Got Nothing," follows with fairly standard Blues tropes, augmented by Stone's grandmaster guitar plus sax by guest Jimmy Carpenter.

For over a century down in New Orleans, hungry residents have called tomato-based sauces Red Gravy. Stone explains this in the song "Red Gravy," a funky piano-based tune that really makes me hungry. "Crazy in Love with You," is sweetly romantic, Carpenter's luscious sax providing night club low-light atmosphere. Stone gets ready-to-rumble with his fight song, "Don't Count Me Out," a swinging toe-tapper with a clenched fist.

Next up is the smoky, erotic "Blue Eyed Angel," another sweet song about love, this one in a dream. Christmas and Shaw, the funk brothers, team up on drums and bass to drive "Time to Move On," in which Stone has had enough of everything and plans to leave town. He trudges through "Hard to Have the Blues," and laments that, thanks to his woman, life is so good he can hardly have the Blues.

The band concludes the CD with "Something in the Water," an honest homage to New Orleans, a city that attracts musicians from all over who, once they get there, just can't leave. The song satisfies, much as a good meal does-guitar and piano jamming-and is a fitting finale to a really tasty performance.

Put it this way: Blues with a Taste of New Orleans is a gustatory celebration of the life and history of a supremely musical American city. Pass me that Red Gravy, man.

 

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