Album Reviews

Linsey Alexander

Two Cats

Artist:     Linsey Alexander

Album:     Two Cats

Label:     Delmark

Release Date:     6/13/2017

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Eccentric, charismatic personalities are germane to the history of the blues. Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thornton, Guitar Slim, and many others come to mind immediately but almost all that you can name are the originals, from previous generations. Don’t get me wrong. Linsey Alexander is not likely to reach the iconic status of the aforementioned, but he does possess some of those qualities. In a sense, he is the modern-day comic of the blues with the guitar and vocal chops to back it up. The “Hoochie Man” returns with contemporary, hilarious tunes likes “Facebook Woman,” the politically cute “Comb Over Blues,” and salaciously witty ones like “Where Did You Take Your Clothes Off Last Night,” and the title track.

Amidst the fun, you’ll hear his searing guitar work along with a band and guests comprised of Chicago’s best players. They include guitarists Anthony Palmer and Breezy Rodio, keyboardist Roosevelt Purifoy and the three-piece Chicago Horns, among others. Like many of the Delmark releases, this is lengthy with its 15 tracks, providing ample soloing opportunities. Paul Hanover does some nice harp work on three tracks. Two of the tunes borrow lines from B.B, King, nodding toward him in “That Ain’t Right” and “Why I Sing the Blues,” the latter of which is different from King’s. Slow blues “Facebook Woman” features the church-like organ of Purifoy with predictable, but still funny passages about My Space and Instagram from Linsey. “User” borrows from Bill Withers but the horn-driven funky sound is representative of many downright dirty grooves that are all over this album.

Linsey Alexander seems to have it figured out. He plays in the tradition and finds a way to blend the usual blues subjects of women, whisky, and unrequited love with contemporary topics that bring smiles. Have fun listening to this one.

—Jim Hynes

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