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Out Of Favor Boys - 7.18.9

Self Release


When your blues roots go back as far as Robert Cray, Eric Clapton, Tommy Castro, John Mayer and James Taylor this is what your 'blues' sound like. The end result is mostly blues 'lite' covers slowed down and done for WAY too long. The band is very tight but afterwards you're left feeling empty. And spread out over two live discs that's a whole lot of empty. They've listened to some recent blues and got some guitar licks down, but sucked the soul out of the blues. This kinda of blues probably worked well at their club dates where the crowd is well lubricated, but there is nothing here I would want to give repeated listings to.....unless I was well lubricated I guess. How many versions of "Steamroller Blues" do we need? Check out Big Twist And The Mellow Fellows for the definitive rendition. The one blues song that strangely works for me is "Come When I Call" by pop meister John Mayer. An upbeat shuffle that moves along nicely. The one thing that jumps off this record is the sax playing of Tony Sproul. His energetic playing gives life to this paint-by-numbers music.

Now for the 'white boy soul' portion of the program. This is where they fare better. Their crowd pleasing funky grooves are what they do best. "Leaving You Behind" features good vocals and Tony honking away. "Good Booty And Barbeque" stops abruptly for no reason other than comic effect, to go into "Folsom Prison Blues". Three tracks that consist of stage patter apparently about a drink called 'Chuck Norris" are out of place.

The guitarists execute the licks well, they just have a generic blues sound to them. Drummer and bass player are locked in. One vocalist is smooth while another has a belabored 'blues' approach. If 'tourist blues' and toe-tapping 'white boy funk' are your thing, then check out these Michigan dudes and sit back with a 'Chuck Norris'.

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

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