The Wayne Riker Gathering
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.