Zinn Rusty & The Roadmasters- LIVE featuring KIM WILSON
by Charlie Lange Date Added: Saturday 27 September, 2008

While credited to Rusty Zinn & the Roadmasters, the
new CD Live could easily have been credited to Kim
Wilson whose vocals and harp are heavily featured on
this disc (and who is introduced at the recordings beginning.
Recorded at Moes Alley in Santa Cruz, California
on August 2, 1996, this spirited live recording has a terrific
band that also includes pianist Fred Kaplan, bassist
Larry Taylor and drummer Richard Innes on some very
spirited performances.
Wilson and Zinn both showcase their chops on Dont
Bite The Hand That Feeds You, with the rhythm rocking
and swinging the hot groove that keeps jumping on Rock
With Me Tonight. It is a joy to hear Zinns mix of chords
and single notes pushing Wilsons sax-like harp here prior
to taking a stellar solo followed by more hot harp with
Wilson taking a brief vocal before taking the tune out with
more harp. The rhythm cools down to a walking tempo
for I Can Tell, marked by Zinns jazzy chords and fresh
sounding single note runs behind Wilsons vocal, while
the medium tempoed shuffle Im Trying sports rollicking
piano from Kaplan.
Zinn capably handles the vocal on J.B. Lenoirs How
Long with Kaplan and Wilson helping drive the performance
behind the vocal with more top-notch solos from
Wilson and Zinn. Kaplan lays down some boogie woogie
for Kim Wilsons vocal on the Smiley Lewis derived I
Aint Gonna Do It, followed by his jaunty reworking of
Rufus Thomas Tigerman. A medley of Blue Smittys
Date Bait and the B.B. King and Dave Clarks Why I
Sing the Blues allows Wilson to add some lyrical touches
before the album closes on a medley of Jimmy Reeds
High and Lonesome and T-Bone Walkers T-Bone
Shuffle, with more terrific playing.
Anyone who has seen Kim Wilson leading his own
band over the past two decades as well as the more bluesy
performances by the Fabulous Thunderbirds will have an
idea what to expect. There is plenty of strong, expressive
vocals, wailing fat-toned harp, sizzling guitar, rocking
barrelhouse blues piano and a hot rocking rhythm section
that swings like crazy. It is easy to recommend this
disc, the first issued by Bluebeat Music, one of the finest
mail order blues music sources. It might have been nice
to have had some notes on the performance by the composer
credits, but the music is superb.

Ron Weinstock

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
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