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The Steve Wiggins Band - Precious Cargo

Self Release

To the readers of this review, let me first adjust your attitude as to what I like in the way of a Blues sound and a Blues Band and may that assist you in the understanding of my rambling writings; first- I’m not that much of a Delta guy, swamp boogie blues are great but not my style.

Memphis sound is most excellent but not the choice of a South side Chicago boy like myself and modern Blues that sound like the hard rock English invasion of yesteryear is fine -------------- for some, but for me give me that up tight out of sight City Urban sound of the Blues that can almost make you taste the grilled onions and pork chop sandwiches right off the ol’ Maxwell street Blues scene.

Now those are Blues. I can recall seeing and hearing countless Blues bands there, sitting out front of the record stores and clubs playing right out there on the sidewalks, morning, noon and night. Boom, boom, boom, boom! Thank you John Lee!

So that’s what I enjoy most, that’s my calling card for the Blues. Clean pure and simple, keep your digitaldelayreverbphasers for something else. Blues down to the bone. Nothing watered down, and that’s exactly what you’ll receive when you snap off the plastic wrapper and play this “Precious Cargo” CD.

Man this is the ‘BLUES’! From the very first notes you know instantly that you are going to have to buckle up tight, pull on the seat belt hard and hang on for your life as this band takes no prisoners. What? No guitar? Who needs one with these guys. Steve Wiggins on Keys, Lenwood Cherry Jr. On drums, Bruce Hebert bass, and Wally Tirado blowing like a hurricane on sax, what more could you ask for?

That first tune, Steve’s Boogie, starts the tracks off right out of the box like there’s no tomorrow. Steve breaks into the tune with piano keys but its not long before those sweet and sexy sax sounds start to emerge and just when you have settled into that style the room gets ripped wide open all over again with Steve on the B3 organ. If ever there were ‘other’ instruments meant for the Blues they are sax and the Hammond B3 organ. Man I am in heaven!

Next up is ‘Cold Shot’ dedicated to the late great Les Paul. Walking bass opens the door and “kabam” there’s that sax and B3 combo taking charge. It just doesn’t get much better. And when you think it can’t get much better Wally of Wally’s sax world knocks the door down with his solo which in turn leads to that organ again. How can it get any better? Well it does ‘cause the classic, ‘Steam Roller’, take your time, take your time, TAKE YOUR TIME, its Steamroller time. Honky-Tonk piano, sax riffs and an easy going but driving driving driving drum riffs, and always that balanced just right walking bass showing light on the path. Man this is good stuff!

Now I am not going to write about each track as we’ll all be here all day but let me say that all 11 tracks are tracks to please. Next to last is one of my signature numbers by the great Bill Withers, ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’. Just including that number alone should make you run to get this CD but that ain’t all. Slow it down, look deep into these blue waters and repeat after me, “ Ain’t Sunshine When She’s Gone”. It will blow you away.

Thank you Linwood for these vocals, a man who knows and feels the pain of the Blues. His own man, my man, take it where no one else takes it! Bring that sax in to make me cry and cry you all will. Tears of joy, blue joy for sure! So OK, you’ve heard what I have to say about this band, this fine ass CD so lets end on a high note, ‘I’m Doing My Thing’ and for all those babies out there that think you can’t have the Blues without a guitar, this studio track, the only studio track of the group throws in a guitar so we all can say.

This Steve Wiggins Band, Precious Cargo CD has EVERYTHING!!!

Reviewer Chuck Gomez worked out of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events for over a decade back at the start of the Chicago Blues Fest, plays sax and tours with many leading Blues musicians/Chicago style. He is Columbia College’s special events producer and owns/produces/promotes the Watseka Theatre, Iroquois Performing Arts Center. The Watseka Theatre Blues, BBQ & Arts Fest is the last Saturday of each May. Go to: for more information.

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