B. Christopher Band – Snapshots From The Second Floor
Christopher is a composer who is best known for having his original music in over 30,000 placements on many a TV network. Nathan East, Anton Fig, Gerald Albright, Shawn Pelton, Andy Snitzer, Stu Hamm, Kenny Aronoff, Studebaker John and Jerry Portnoy, to name a few, have all lent their talents to his recordings.
This is his sixth CD, and joining Christopher (who plays guitar) are EJ “Moose” Boles (vocals) Anton Fig (drums) Studebaker John (harmonica), Nick Douglas and Eric Collier (bass). Christopher evolved out of blues clubs into the TV musical enigma he is today. This album showcases his deep roots in the blues.
The rocking cut “All Twisted Up” starts things off. It’s a rousing instrumental boogie with fiery guitar and gritty harp. A super start! “Where You At” follows, a slow and cool blues with more well done guitar and some gutsy vocals. “Sugar Baby” is another great instrumental, this time a slow one featuring Christopher’s thoughtful and masterful guitar. Next is “Talk To Me,” a swinging blues with some nice guitar picking, great harp support, a bouncing groove and slick vocals. “Take It Home” is a driving, rocking blues instrumental with stinging guitar and some more cool fills on harp.
“Who You Gonna Turn To Now” gets a little funk going as Moose lets it hang out a bit and Christopher lays out the groove and offers up a fun solo and then both of them take us home. They get a little bit of a rock infused country instrumental twang going in ”Something’s Wrong.” There’s lots of pretty guitar playing here. “Late Night Crying” follows, a solid, slow blues with some extended guitar licks and harp that adds so much to the feeling. “Deep Dish Grit” is another cool instrumental that has a throwback sound that hearkens to Chicago blues of yesteryear. Studebaker John greases up his harp and he and B. Christopher give it their all here.
The boogie gets going with “Ain’t That Cold.” Moose howls out the vocal lead while Christopher blazes on the guitar. “Like A Fool” follows that and things switch to having a sultry and sexy feel as the boys give us a slow to midtempo instrumental with a little bit of a Latin infused into it. “Thirty Years” is a great shuffle with lots of guitar and harp to savor. The album finishes out with “Smoke,” a slow and thoughtful instrumental piece with slide guitar that floats and soars. It’s a nice transition and conclusion to an outstanding album.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at first. A prolific TV musical personality making a blues album? Well, it worked out just fine. B. Christopher wrote every song and nails each and every one of them with solid performances by he and his band mates. Alternating instrumentals and vocal pieces, we get to see what Christopher can do and it’s all damn good. I enjoyed this album and I think all blues fans will too!
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