As advertised on the Bluebone website, their music is burnin’ blues and smokin’ boogie. There is proof positive found on the 2000 studio release Bluebone and more evidence of their bad to the bone talent on the 2002 Live @ Cape May recording.
Even when they do covers like the ZZ Top barnburner "La Grange" and "Bad Is Bad" they sound terrific. I have noticed that in the realm of blues and jazz when a band does a cover tune and they perform it with enough moxie you are able to enjoy it as if the original artist were performing it (for the most part). It usually does not work that way with rock music for some reason.
Their self-titled debut has 13 tracks of hell raisin’ blues-rock that will set your soul on fire. Jay Bethel and Dan McPheeters make every effort to impress and crank out some licks that must have Stevie Ray smilin’ somewhere. They both have a good set of pipes too. Any red-blooded blues enthusiast within earshot would love this music. Steve Smith (bass) and Andy Vernon (drums and percussion) combine to form a one-two punch rhythm section that keeps it all honest from the first to the last note on every track. Having a bottom end that runs a tight ship is an absolute necessity when you play super charged blues-rock such as this. Trust me; these boys have their chops down, whether they are pumping out an original or a cover tune. Listening to both CDs in succession gave me a better appreciation of their talent and diversity as musicians because of the contrast between live and in the studio performances. The live recording’s sound is mighty impressive. I do not expect that kind of succinct clarity from a live album so it was an added bonus.
Bluebone makes available every style of blues imaginable to you. The rockin’ blues highlights their sound but if you are in the mood for some funked up blues "Big Love" will set ya straight. The vocals on the tune reminded me of the Godfather of Soul James Brown (get on upa). "Fruedian Slip" provides a good shot of humor with lyrics to tickle your funny bone. A frustrated man sings to his over educated lady friend that seems to be a psychology major-"Just peel off that party dress honey, and don’t forget that Freudian slip." A little tongue in cheek is pretty much status quo from da blues and this band just keeps the one-liners coming from every direction.Yes sir, these boys are cookin’ on all four burners. There is no doubt about it, I love the rockin’ blues and both CDs served it up just fine. I will be back for more.