Atlanta blues man Eddie 9V is set to release Little Black Fies on Ruf Records May 28. While this is not Eddie ‘s first record, it is his first for an established record label. It was produced at Atlanta’s Echo Deco Studios Eddie’s brother, Lane Kelly.
Even though he is only 24 years old, Eddie is no newcomer to the stage. Indeed, he began performing in clubs around Atlanta at age 15 under his original name, Brooks Mason, with his brother Lane. My husband and I saw him perform that year, and I was surprised at how natural he was in front of an audience. This album, recorded live in the studio, shows he is just as natural on record. You even get some loose chatter between him and the other musicians, who include some of the cream of the Atlanta scene. The bassist, for instance, is Brandon Boone from the Tedeschi Trucks band. Another speciL guest is Cody Matlock, a former prodigy who has grown into a guitar hero and a long-time friend of Eddie’s.
One thing that has not changed with any of Eddie’s endeavors under any name is that the music is really excellent. There are 9 original tunes and 3 covers and they are all authentic, full of soul and true to Eddie’s blues roots while adding a modern twist.
Every track here is a winner, but “Litle Black Flies” shows that Eddie 9V knows how to get dark and “3 AM in Chicago” is a hard look at life on the poor side of town. To balance the serious songs, there is the silly fun of “Columbus Zoo Blues” and the sassiness of “Miss Jane.
Mark your calendR for May 28 and p ck out your own favorites from this amazing release from an explosive young artist who should be on your radar if he is not already!
Bobby Messano lives on the road. Music is the one constant in what can be best described as a turbulent life. He’s been playing for decades and even did a stint as Steve Winwood’s guitar player and music director. He is an amazing guitar player and a passionate and powerful vocalist. With every album he puts out, I think Bobby has reached his peak this time. But no! And now he has done it again. Just when you think Bobby Messano can’t improve on the magnificent Welcome to Deltaville he does with the excellent Love & Money.
Bobby has been through an inordinate amount of strife in the last few years and he has encountered some very dark days. Like the best artists, he deals with these emotions with honesty, pouring his soul into the songs.. But don’t be expecting dirges here. He marries his darkest lyrics, as on the opening tune “April Showers,” with driving guitar and a perfect blend of rock and blues. It certainly does not hurt that he is backed up by what is undoubtedly the strongest and best group he has ever recorded and toured with. Suavek Zaniesienko on bass, Freddie Gasparini on keyboards and Dave Hollingsworth on drums simply create a perfect storm here,
The title track,, “Love and Money,” decries the twin obsessions that cause so much trouble in the world, but does not fail to offer hope. In fact, no matter how dark things get, Bobby’s music never loses hope and, most often, a wry humor is lurking somewhere about. That hope and humor is evident in “What I Got,” in which Bobby explains exactly what he does and doesn’t have. The funky interplay between Bobby’s guitar and Freddie’s organ really enhance this song as well as “Welcome To My Failed Career,” which contrasts glitter and glitz with real, authentic musicianship.
As an example of how Messano continues to add variety to his sound, “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright” adds fiddles and a country tinge like the best Southern rock of the ’70s. Not bad for a Wisconsin native! He follows it up with a blast from his own past, with a fantastic cover of Winwood’s “Had to Cry Today,” which just happens to fit perfectly with the theme of the album.
These are just some of the highlights on this excellent recording. To summarize: You will not find a better blues-rock album anywhere than Love and Money. Bobby Messano and his band continue to amaze and entertain as well as anyone in the business. Get it now!
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