Billy Branch and the Sons of the Blues
Blind Pig Records
This platter is clean, baby, but it ain't sterile. Over the course of 11 cuts, legendary Chicago harmonicat Billy Brach heaps plenty of hellacious, honkin' dirt over The Sons of the Blues' baby-bottom-smooth groove. Branch explains that this is his first album in 15 years because he wanted to do something different. I don't understand this; "Blues Shock" has some new material and updated lyrical references to things like text messages amongst the new and classic (Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, etc.). But at the core it's just good ol' Chicago blues done right. The Chicago Horns and Ronnie Baker Brooks even crash the party. What truly sells this platter is the sweet tweet and freight-train bellow of Branch' s mouth harp. I mean, the man's been at it, blowin' for some 40-odd years.