You can count on Jim Suhler and Alan Haynes to do vigorous and exciting music. This live set was recorded at the Blue Cat Blues club in Dallas’ Deep Ellum district. It has none of the studio touch-up work that’s fashionable on many albums that purport to be “live”. On bass and drums respectively are Carlton Powell and Paul Hollis, a famously solid rhythm section that regularly backs Suhler.
The kickoff cut is “Too Poor To Die”, the chunka-chunk rhythm of which hosts as sardonic and macabre a lyric as the version of “Black Cat Bone” by the poet laureate of Texas death music, Lightnin’ Hopkins. The tune has tons of slashing, volcanic slide. A slide swap meet of epic proportion brings on “Knockin’ On My Door”, a hard-hitting shuffle. Suhler sings the former song, Haynes the latter.
Another audience fave is Suhler’s reworking of psychedelic bluesmaster Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?”. It’s replete with requisite feedback and sonic weirdness wrought not from a Strat, as you’d expect but from of all things, a National steel acoustic guitar!
So, kick back and imagine yourself at a stage-side table at the Blue Cat. slam a beer. Slam another. and there you are, in Texas, set for an immersive, knock-out blues experience with Jim Suhler and Alan Haynes. -Tim Schuller
- Too Poor To Die 6:47
- Knockin’ At Your Door 8:04
- I Wonder Why 7:44
- Down And Out In Texas 6:27
- Don’t Do It 4:18
- Oh My Baby’s Gone 3:43
- Say Your Prayers 5:25
- Are You Experienced 6:36