I just received the newest release, Go Back Home To The Blues, from The Knickerbocker All-Stars and it swings! After reviewing thier previous release, Open Mic At The Nick I was excited to hear this new release and I'm not disappointed. Opening with with the ear catching, 36-22-36, Sugar Ray Norcia leads the way on vocals with really nice piano accompaniment by Al Copley. Powerful horn work from Doug James (sax), Sax Gordon Beadle (sax), Rich Lataille (sax), Doc Chanonhouse (trumpet) and Carl Querfurth (trombone) and Brad Hallen on bass and Mark Teixeira on drums this band is loaded! Willie J Laws takes the mic on You Know That You Love Me and Monster Mike Welch is super laying down terrific blues riff. Excellent! Brian Templeton takes the mic on Cadillac Baby for a real swinger. James plays a really sweet sax solo on this one and the horn section hold up the back. Very cool. Sugar Ray is back on lead vocal on Brand New Fool, with full strut. Copley's piano rhythm and strong horn backing balance the vocal nicely and a screaming sax solo as well as an extended piano solo cap the track. Willie J Laws has the lead vocal on Guitar Slim's Something To Remember You By and Monster Mike digs on Slim's riffs. This is one of my favorite tracks on the release with Mike really doing a nice job. Norcia really swings it on Take It Like A Man and another hot sax solo by James cooks it. Instrumental, Hokin', has a real nice feel with well blended horns and piano. If you like sax, this track is your ticket with warm sax runs end to end. Very nice! Al Basile takes the lead on Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right, a jump track with punchy horn work. A cool cornet solo from Basile traded with a swinging sax solo, and tight drumming makes this another stand out track. Laws gets down in serious blues territory with He Was A Friend of Mine. Morganfield like delivery and solid horns fill the track but for me it's the strong guitar work from Welsh that makes this track tick. His phrasing is always heartfelt and clean. Solid sax soloing and piano riffs from Copley are also nicely executed. Excellent! Templeton does super lead vocals on title track, Go Back Home To The Blues. I really like Copley's piano work on this track and Welch adds some swingin riffs of his own punched up by the horn section making this one not to miss. Blockbuster Boogie is a great name for the next track with all horns coming out blazing. Trumpets take the high road and saxes and piano the middle really rocking this track. Excellent! Annie Get Your Thing On has a Latin flair and nice, excellent Albert King like guitar work from Welch. The track breaks into full "swing" and sexy sax work takes over. Breaking back to Latin rhythm, this track has great contrast. Wrapping the release is I Tried, with an Elmore James like opening and Laws on lead vocals. This track is an excellent closer with solid drive, clean horn and guitar riffs and pedal to the metal.
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