Wednesday, July 31, 2013

J. Geils Band - Bloodshot

Anyone who knows me or who has read this blog for any amount of time knows that I am a huge fan of 60's and 70's J. Geils Band - one of the best live shows I have ever seen and truly fantastic party records. Starting as a blues band, they mixed up blues, r'n'b, rock'n'roll and whatever else they could think of to come up with a wild, rockin' sound. Bloodshot is another of their terrific 70's albums.

Opening with a true party tune, the aptly titled "Ain't Nothing But a House Party", the guys rip it up with a high-energy dance number where each member gets to show off their licks - the incredible Magic Dick on harp, the man, J. Geils on guitar, Seth Justman on keys, superb rhythm section of Stephen Jo Bladd on drums and vocals and Danny Klein on bass, and, of course, the incomparable Peter Wolf on lead vocals. They bring it down a bit for "Make Up Your Mind", more of a easy-groovin', early r'n'r kinda number. Then rev things up for "Back To Get Ya", a funky rocker, with more fantastic harmonica wailin' and string wranglin'.

Justman sets the scene on the piano for the early r'n'b/r'n'r of "Struttin' With My Baby", which is followed by the drunken-Salvation-Army tune "Don't Try To Hide It", showing that these cats had a stoner sense of humor ("I see your heinie, it's nice and shiny, don't try to hide it, you know I'll find it") - totally goofy fun. Tour opener "Southside Shuffle", is a mover and shaker, with a great soul opening that turns into a rocker with an ending that the crowd would always get into - "got to do it, got to do it"! "Hold Your Loving" really raves, again sounding like an updated early r'n'r stomper.

Slowing it down for "Start All Over Again", they somehow manage to create a doo-wop ballad without the harmonies - not sure if that makes sense, but that's what it sounds like to me! They close the album with their take on reggae (many people tried around this time), which proved to be fortuitous as it gave them another hit with "Give It To Me". Truthfully, while I like this, it is a bit too affected for me - not quite as authentic sounding as most of their stuff.

Still, another terrific album of blues/rock'n'roll and white-man's r'n'b!


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