The Wayne Riker Gathering
We range from the subdued and conversational truth telling of Leonard Patton's reading of the B.B.King classic "Everyday I Have the Blues "(composed by Memphis Slim) , a vocal marked both by restraint and conviction in the singing while the band provides a sprite, marauding groove, to the classic blues shouting brought on by Scott Mathiasen on Freddy King's "Tore Down" ( written by Sonny Thompson), a snappy and strutting shuffle highlighting the singer’s grand and soulful rasp over the percolating ensemble. Shelle Blue’s reading of “W-O-M-A-N” , composed by Dorothy Hawkins, Abbey Mallory, Jean Mitchell and Jamesetta Rogers, is a sexy and assertive response to the male-point of view of “I’m A Man”, reminding everyone in the room that women are full partners in the life they have with their mates. The B.B. King arrangement of “Rock me Baby” is sufficiently growled, groaned and soulful as rendered by Deanna Haala’s declarative voice .
Michele Lundeen’s vocal on the blues -torch song ballad “That’s Why I’m Crying” (composed by Samuel Maghett) brings a hint of the sassy earnestness of Eartha Kitt to the testifying. Riker’s guitar fills and his solo on this tune, incidentally, are quite thrilling, responding to the highs and lows of Lundeen’s matchless singing.Singer and guitarist create unbearable tension until Riker cuts loose with a bravura solo, eloquent and slashing. The solo is an exquisite showcase of two-fisted blues work, as is , in point of fact, the entirety of Blues Lightning. Buy the record and do as I do and place the disc on while having your morning coffee. Twenty minutes of that in the A.M. and I am ready to seize the day.