Music Review: Stocking Stuffer for Blues LoversBehind the Mic is a Collection of Northwest Blues music
By Curt Nichols, Guest Writer, 12-02-07 http://www.newwest.net/city/article/behind_the_mic_is_a_collection_of_northwest_blues_music/C108/L108/ You never know what to expect from a compilation CD. Most of them have a spotty record (think of the music sold on late night TV) while others are very good.
As a casual blues fan and a Northwest native, a collection of Northwest blues music sounded promising. So I was eager to listen to â€œBehind the Mic.â€ However, when I first looked at the artists featured on this CDs 18 tunes, I didnâ€™t recognize even one.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that The Heard was included. Thatâ€™s right, Idahoâ€™s own impure folk original songsters (as they like to call themselves) are part of â€œBehind the Micâ€ with a bluesy tune called â€œI Saw Youâ€ thatâ€™s also on their most recent CD, Bliss.â€
Except for The Heard, the rest of the musicians were new to me. Iâ€™m more familiar with the blues scene in Oregon and Washington. What I heard on â€œBehind the Micâ€ was a strong indication that Idaho has a thriving blues scene of its own.
One high point on this Idaho-centric CD is â€œFirst Night Out.â€ It tells a (nearly) true story of the first night out on the town after moving to Twin Falls. The song opens with the lines, â€œThe first night that I went out/I saw some things that made me shout/Made me wonder about what kind of place this was.â€ In this tune, Dr. Mambo sings, â€œThere I stood in my tourist shirt/Out among the cowboys and the dirt/A city boy in a place I did not know.â€
If you havenâ€™t heard Bobby Lindstrom, his song, â€œAngels in the Kitchenâ€ is a great introduction to his brand of blues â€“ acoustic guitar and vocals. Shaun Cox Leonardâ€™s vocals stand out on â€œPlayinâ€™ with Fire.â€ The live instrumental, â€œSkatewings,â€ showcases Ken Harrisâ€™s abilities on the Hammond B-3 organ.
Unlike the compilation CDs hawked on late night TV, this one is available in stores. â€œBehind the Micâ€ is on sale at the Record Exchange. If they happen to be sold out, contact the Boise Blues Society and order a copy directly from them.