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Chris James and Patrick Rynn - Gonna Boogie Anyway

Earwig Music Company

12 tracks

This follow on to James’ and Rynns’2008 Blues Blast award winning Earwig release “Stop and Think About It” is an equally outstanding effort that showcases these two hot musicians and their varied friends talents. This San Diego-based duo received great notoriety worldwide from that last released CD and the level of play and songs here will surely vault them further into the realm of awards and recognition.

The CD opens with Robert Lockwood Jrs’ “Money Don’t Like Me” followed by Ellis McDaniels’ “Dearest Darling”. Two finely done covers in contrasting styles, these songs show us that the boys are equally comfy working with the more driving song like “Money” and the jumpy, maraca-filled McDaniel cut. Sam Lay and Willie Hayes are on drums respectively, and David Maxwell is on piano (along with others) working up a tight sound. James, Rynn and former C-Note partner Rob Stone wrote 8 of the tracks, with another McDaniel song (“Little Girl”) and Jimmy Reeds’ “Can’t Stand to See You Go” as the other well-done covers; Rob Stone more than aptly squeaks out the high pitched Jimmy Reed harp lines and Henry Gray continues to provide inspired support.

James and Rynn go a little more bare-boned on their first presented original cut, “You Can’t Trust Nobody”, adding only David Maxwells’ piano to their duo. It’s a nice, clean arrangement. From there it’s back to the bigger productions like “Life Couldn’t Be Sweeter”. James greases up his slide, Rynn blows away the backbeat on bass, Henry Gray stomps on the ivories, Eddie Kobek on the skins and Jeff Stone on guitar jump and swing, but the dual horns of Johnny Viau and Allen Ortiz (as on the first cut and others) sell this jumping and swinging cut. Gray’s piano solo is also solid as are James’ vocals.

“H.M Stomp” has a driving and rocking groove, adding Henry Gray again on piano and the superb Bob Corritore on harp. The song builds and builds with Gray and Corritore along with the heavy guitar and bass lines to a rousing finish. James and Rynn stand alone as an unaccompanied duo on “Headed Out West” and “Black Spider Blues”, giving us some traditional sounding straight up Delta influenced blues where James finger picking predominates over Rynn’s solid backdrop.

Have I missed anything? Oh yeah; there are a three more tracks that are equally impressive. This is another super effort by these talented guys and their friends. James and Rynn and establishing themselves as truly great musicians and songwriters with this sophomore release on Earwig that rivals if not surpasses their outstanding first release. Go out and get this one, blues fans; you won’t regret it and once you listen to it you’ll be glad you added it to your collection!!

Reviewer  Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.

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