FREE Subscription - For more information  CLICK HERE



Back To Reviews page

Henry Oden - You're Wrong For That!



These retro-sounding blues releases by elderly blues journeymen are becoming commonplace, some working better than others. Henry Oden chose to do it by using mostly original material that has that old school blues sound. He obviously absorbed much working for 40 plus years as a bass player for John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Big Mama Thorton, Boz Scaggs and many more. He has a big, robust, warm voice. Some of his lyrics veer away from the over used blues cliches' and employ modern day references to update his message. The various players here are top notch. Oden's rock steady bass lines provide a sturdy foundation.The only time he runs into trouble are on the two non-blues covers.

The sprightly sax driven title song with Henry's energetic vocal should be a good omen for what is to follow. With a few flaws along the way he mostly gets the job done. Bernard Anderson does a fine job multi-tracking the sax section. Next up is the sexy and soulful blues of "I Love You That Way". Organ and Anderson's sax propell this slow burner featuring Henry's mellow voice. Throughout the record you can see he is trying to innovate so as not too make things sound too samey. It's seeming to get a little better with each listening, but his take on David Essex's "Rock On" comes off mostly as a poor choice of cover tune. The original worked because it was an atmospheric production piece. Without the echoing vocal and sliding strings we're left with a pale skeleton. And Oden's vocal here dosen't have the energy needed to pull it off. "Stressful Situation" gets us back on track. A jaunty blues with guitar and piano interplay. Nedo Eel's guitar powers through the instrumental workout "Haywire", that I wished would never end sounding like a bluesy Duane Eddy.

On "Trying To Get To You" Henry uses Google and GPS as he tries to get back to his nagging lady. The road lyrics moved along by the late Norton Buffalo's harmonica give the sensation of tooling down the highway. Norton gives the second of what appears to be his last recordings on the electric country blues "Please Come Home". His harp interweaves with Kenny Marchesse's snakey guitar. The guitar work throughout is top notch. Robby Bean's drum shuffle provides the foundation for "Your Time Is Gonna Come'. The synth-strings mar the gospel-blues of "I'm Gonna Miss You". Not his best vocal, but the organ and female vocals make up for the "strings". His live rendition of Bill Wither's "Who Is He And What Is He To You" is funky enough but the vocal here suffers from lack of energy. At one point he says "watch me now" and fails to take the energy level up. The band is fine as elsewhere, particularly the organ workout by Will Blades. From the sound of the audience at John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom Room this must work fine on the dancefloor.

When he stays in his comfort zone of Chicago blues this record clicks. He can craft retro-blues without stealing from old chestnuts. His mostly pleasing voice and bass skills make this a worthwhile effort.

Reviewer Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at

For other reviews and interviews on our website CLICK HERE.

To submit a review or interview please contact:

For more information please contact:


Home  |  Contact  |  Submit Your Blues News - Advertise with Blues Blast Magazine
 Copyright - Blues Blast Magazine
2010    Design by: Moxi Dawg Design