April 22, 2024
Janky – C.B.G. Throwdown | Album Review – Blues Blast Magazine


Janky – C.B.G. Throwdown

Reverb Unit Records & The Cabin Record Co.


9 songs time – 44:34

Cigar Box Guitars Are Us as Janky and his partners in crime take us through The North Mississippi Hill Country Blues in a swampy, gritty, and s**t kicking ride on this, his fourth CD. Janky on the guitars and gritty vocals is ably abetted by Cole Koenning on rudimentary drums and Cody Cotton on harmonica. The cigar box guitars(C.B.G.) virtually eliminate soloing, but that is supplanted by a driving and menacing rhythm attack. Cody’s harmonica provides most of the melody. All this being said, the guys manage to get a varied sound. Janky wrote all but one song.

“7III8” has Bear Ryan and Kelly Allison joining in with Janky for unison and reply vocals. Janky intersperses spoken swamp philosophy amongst the singing. “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then”. With guitar and harmonica in unison, “My Mississippi Lady” transports the lucky listener to the Delta with its’ downhome atmospherics. The slide is truly mesmerizing. Funky and raw is the recipe for “You Must Be The Devil’s Favorite”. It is brimming with demonic references.

“What Cha Done Done” begins life with a repetitive chant and into rhythmic singing and some of Cody’s most inventive harp playing. The funk slides right into “Kiss Yo’ Self”. It is just oozing with swamp grease. “Sweet Disposition” is chock full of downhome Norm Crosby-isms such as “co-gravitise” and “guitarization”. With its’ pulsating hypnotic groove it brings to mind The North Mississippi Allstars.

“Shake It On Down” just flies by with a bass heavy riff as it exalts letting go and having a good time. Returning love is the theme of the bouncy “The Love Reflector”. Cody’s exuberant harp enhances the spirit of the song. Bear and Kelly once join in on vocals for the traditional “You Gotta Have That True Religion”. The incessant drums and tambourine enforce the religious fervor of this religious chestnut.

Janky and company due justice to this lesser exposed genre of blues music. The sheer grit and intensity invoke a response in anyone, be it positive or negative. This music, although simple in its’ structure, strikes deeply into human consciousness. The drive of the distorted guitars, the randy-ness of the harmonica combined with the incessant drive of the drums create a powerful music. The lyrics fly by, sometimes serious and sometimes inflected with humor. Whatever a listener thinks of this music, it is definitely real. You owe it to yourself to take this virtual jaunt to the swamp.

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