Album Review of
The Last Shade of Blue Before Black

Written by Duane Verh
October 8, 2017 - 12:00am EDT
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Maybe it’s the energy and atmosphere of their nearly overdub-free, “live”-in-the-studio approach that makes for the consistent good-vibes character of this set. Original Blues Brothers guitarist Steve Cropper and saxman Lou Marini host a slew of soulful guests on a mix of originals and tasty covers.  Horn charts courtesy of Marini and others freshen classics such as Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me To Do” and Willie Dixon’s “Don’t Go No Further”.  That latter tune also sports a hefty vocal from guest Joe Louis Walker and guitar from BBB alum Matt “Guitar” Murphy.  Dr. John contributes a welcome cameo with his own “Qualified”, offering up his own “Qualified” and Paul Shaffer generates some keyboard heat covering the James Brown classic “Sex Machine”. Stealing the show, vocal-wise, is NYC soulster Bobby Harden, tearing up the Dan Penn-penned gem “You Left The Water Running”.