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Little Al Thomas & The Deep Down Fools - Not My Warden

13 Tracks

Little Al Thomas is one of those rare older bluesmen that was actually born and raised in Chicago. His first recording, at the age of 69, was Southside Story with the Crazy House Band. It became an instant classic-in Chicago. In 2000, he and the band appeared at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland. As a result, they released a second CD, In The House.

Meanwhile, guitarist, songwriter John Edelmann of the Crazy House Band formed a new band, The Deep Down Fools with Mart Binder on drums, Rob Waters on organ and ad hoc Eddie Galchick also from Crazy house, and Mike Scharf, both on bass.

Together again Little Al Thomas and John Edelmann have a new CD as Little Al Thomas featuring The Deep Down Fools titled Not My Warden. There are two covers, otherwise the songs are written by Edelmann or one of Edelmann’s band mates in one incarnation or another. The lyrics are humorous and clever for the most part, especially, “I’m Gonna Buy A Politician,” and the title track, “Not My Warden.”

Most of the tracks feature a great interplay between the organ and guitar regardless of whether the song is instrumental, particularly on “Ready Freddie”-instrumental and “Anger Heats My House”-vocal. “Not My Warden” also features organ. “Old Time Used To Be” has funny lyrics and a catchy chorus.

I have the CD, Too Long In Exile, by Van Morrison which contains “Big Time Operators.” Considering the title of the CD and the lyrics of this particular track, I always considered the song to be highly autobiographical. Therefore it’s curious that the song would ever be covered by someone else. I suppose those big time operators have more that one artist in their sites. “West Side Wind” is the second instrumental but it has a bit of a country twang to it. “Coronado,” the last track, also instrumental, is a smooth Wes Montgomery like number.

Overall, the lyrics tell real stories, Little Al’s voice is gruff when it needs to be, and the band it tight..

Reviewer Sheralyn Graise graduated from the University of Akron a while back. A former Social Services professional, she is now pursuing other interests such as music history, writing, and photography. She has been a member of the Blues Foundation since 2001.

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