191

Tommy Castro/Jimmy Hall/Lloyd Jones: Triple Trouble

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Tommy Castro/Jimmy Hall/Lloyd Jones: Triple Trouble Backed by the newest star rhythm section, Double Trouble, three rather disparate characters get together and discover what they have in common. While this underpinning might suggest otherwise, this is not strictly a blues album. It might be a rhythm and blues, but this is not the regular stuff. Tommy Castro, for example, has been playing in roadhouses for the past decade on other labels. No, this is a bit like an updated Wet Willie, the band for whom Jimmy Hall was a mainstay.

Grits ain't groceries, eggs ain't poultry, and Mona Lisa was a Man...

This trio of leaders steers its way through originals and soul standards. "Sometimes," a Jones original, is 100% barrelhouse with all three singing and Hall's harmonica insinuating itself from the background. Reese Wynans' uncredited roadhouse piano tinkles softly, driving this three minutes of heaven. Jimmy Hall sings his "If That Ain't Love," harp potent and dark. It makes you miss Wet Willie. This is how a blazing session begins.

But okay, I lied. Johnny Winter's "Be Careful with a Fool" is fully a blues. A hot-shit- I'm gonna-sit-in-yo'-lap slow blues.. The very familiar Double Trouble rhythm section which once backed SRV can be so perfect. Tommy Castro cooks everything to a white heat, Tommy Shannon chording on the bass, giving the song that full power-trio sound that Hendrix, Cream and then SRV perfected. Sanctification is what they call it in the church, and Tommy Castro worships at the Temple of Blues. Jimmy Hall supplies as fine a harp solo as one could desire. If Johnny Winter was the quintessential Rolling Stones interpreter, then Tommy Castro is the quintessential interpreter of Johnny Winter.

Up comes the album's big surprise. It takes a pair or uranium balls to cover the Beatles' "Help!" How does it come off? No assistance required. The group thoroughly transforms the song, like Delbert McClinton took John and Paul to a Southern Baptist Church in white East Texas and had Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley over to compose a song for the next Sunday's service. Rather than a mid-sixties British love song, it becomes a Caucasian country blues lamenting the conflict between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

"Whole Lotta Soul" is infused with the spirit of Otis Redding; "Good Good Lovin'" is a James Brown rave up. The Lloyd Jones blues shuffle "Raised in the Country" provides a tastefully greasy guitar solo, warding off the roadhouse, and both guitarists get to take their turn, as if with that willing country cheerleader beneath the bleachers after a small-town football victory. [Ahem. Right. –Ed.] "Mammer Jammer" sounds too much like the J. Geils Band's "Whammer Jammer" for comfort. Instead, it becomes a Sha-Na Na shuffle.

There is no doubt that this is a very fun record. I expected a lot less and was more than surprised at how fine this music is. Rock on.

For more information, see Telarc Blues .


Track Listing: Sometimes; If That Ain't Love; Be Careful With A Fool; Love Will; Help; Whole Lotta Soul; Good Good Lovin'; Raised In The Country; Mammer Jammer; Midnight To Daylight; Cold Funk.

Personnel: Tommy Castro-Vocals, Guitar; Jimmy Hall-Harmonica, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals; Lloyd Jones- Vocals, Guitars; Reese Wynans-Hammond B-S; Tommy Shannon-Bass; Chris Layton--Drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Telarc Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Keep Me Singing" CD/LP/Track Review Keep Me Singing
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "The Coyote" CD/LP/Track Review The Coyote
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "One for Marian" CD/LP/Track Review One for Marian
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Onwards To Mars!" CD/LP/Track Review Onwards To Mars!
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Dichotomies" CD/LP/Track Review Dichotomies
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!