So it was back out on the road today, this time I was headed to Brick Township to do a soil boring for an infiltration trench to handle run-off from the roof of a proposed house-oh boy! The only good thing was that the trip gave me an hour plus both ways to listen to music! The trip started with a random shuffle of blues, and I really don’t remember much, oh yeah there was some Hubert Sumlin, anyway a song came on and I didn’t recognize the band, so I looked, and it was the Ghost Town Blues Band and a track from their 2009 release Dust the Dust – now comes the familiar part – I haven’t listen to that album much since I put it on the player a while ago! It sounded pretty good, so I switched and listened to that album straight through, and I like their sound! The band based in Memphis, is comprised of: Dusty Sikes on bass, Preston McEwen on drums, and Matt Isbell on everything else. Isbell also co-produced Daddy Mack Blues Band’s album Bluesfinger, which was a favorite last year! Isbell wrote half of the songs on the Dust the Dust and also handles lead vocals for the band. He plays guitar, harmonica, organ, and the clavichord in various spots on the CD. The latest addition to the band is Dr. Dabbo on keyboards. I really liked the opening track “One More Whiskey”, along with covers of “I Put a Spell on You” and “Come Together”. You can read a good review on their press page. Speaking of press, here’s what some folks have to say about the band:
Ghost Town Blues Band is fast becoming the toast of the town, with a sound that blends the earthen fortitude of Mississippi hill country stomp, with the excitement of hot ‘n’ heavy electric Chicago blues, wrapped up in a funky package. The Band’s debut, Dust the Dust, is a menacing groover.”
-LIVING BLUES MAGAZINE issue #210-vol.41. #6
Ghost Town Blues Band does blues and some more. Writing good originals, they shine on their totally creative covers and that’s what really caught my attention. The opener “One More Whiskey” puts these Beale St. regulars in the mood. From there, geographically, it’s only a short trip to the North MS hills where they plant the MacLen classic “Come Together” into a totally different world! Matt Isbell’s axe and vocals are as dusty and strong as a Parchman Farm sentence and the rhythm duo of Dusty Sikes on drums and Preston McEwen on bass beats like a summer sun. Visited by Big Daddy Mack and Davis Coen on the 1st cut, it is a runaway steam train plowing down the valley of death. “CC Rider” funks urban smooth while “Baby Please Don’t Go” shuffles like an inmate on death row only to have ‘Old Sparky’ let it fly on Screaming Jay Hawkins “I Put A Spell On You.” Next time you’re stepping out in Memphis , enter the Beale St. Tap room and you may just be transported by the Ghost Town Blues Band.
* 7 snaves Pearl River-Mike Zito
So check out the band! I stayed with the letter “G” for the rest of the trip down and listened to some tracks from Gina Sicilia’s album Can’t Control Myself. Some of Gina’s press….
“Destined to take her seat among the all-time greats…Sicilia is the perfect package deal…easy on the eye, equally easy on the ear and with a delivery that is as powerful as any I have heard to date, and I’ve heard them all.”
Billtown Blues Association
Some more good stuff. Gina will be at World Cafe Live on April 14th! The ride, which was extended because I missed a turn somewhere, ended with some tracks off of Gov’t Mule’s album The Deep End Volume 2. Ok, after listening, I can see why Warren Hayes is high on the Rolling Stones’ list of best guitarists! More about the return trip tomorrow!
Here’s GTBB with “One More Whiskey”