A Few Reviews....
CREATIVE LOAFING / ATLANTA
By Greg Land
Even among local blues players a fairly subdued bunch, in general Bob Page is notably low-keyed; only when he sits at a piano key- board does the polished ease of a veteran performer show through, as he glides easily through rocking boogies and jumps into steaming, slow-burning straight blues. Long a favorite backup player whose credits include appearances with Muddy Waters, James Cotton and John Hammond, Page is himself possessed of a strong, clear voice and as demonstrated by a new release, equally formidable songwriting skills.
Poor Man Shuffle, just out on Atlantas Hottrax label, includes eight originals among a dozen cuts that range from New Orleans mambo bounce in the Dr. John/Professor Longhair vein to pounding Chicago-style thumpers reminiscent of Otis Spann and Pinetop Perkins, with a nod to Champion Jack Dupree. Drawing together a handful of local ringers bassist Bill Burke, guitarists Willie Alvarez and Nick Perugini, drummers Butch Cooper, Steve Hawkins and David Snavely and percussionist Rick Ware as The Bob Page Project," this new release is a testament to Pages feel. for the nicely- turned phrase, both lyric and melodic.
While theres not a bad tune on the disc, there are standouts: "Goodbye, So long," a looping gumbo-flavored bouncer ; a cool, offhand cover of Hoagy Carmichaels "Lazy River"; "Gone, Gone, Gone." a fast, tinkling boogie backed by brushes on the drum kit and thrifty, slicing guitar fills; and the wrap-up, W.C. Handys classic "St. Louis Blues," which Page personalizes with a distinctive mambo break.
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Revised: October 01, 2000.