I'm definitely not talking about a breakfast of champions, yet I could be talking about a blues musicians dinner, however, what I'm really referring to when I say "Fried Chicken & Whiskey" is the new CD from Jack Edery & UltraSuede.
The band consists of Jack Edery on guitars and vocals, Susan Pierce on Keyboards and vocals, Jason McCollum on bass, and Robert Smith on drums. Special guests on the project include: Jimbo Mathis on guitars, piano and background vocals; Justin Showah on background vocals; Eric Carlson on keyboards; Gin Gin Abraham on Background vocals; and Ken Turner on scrub board and strings. "Fried Chicken & Whiskey" contains eleven tracks of which ten are band originals. UltraSuede likes to refer to themselves as a band that plays "a gumbo of styles with blues as the roux". Let's go taste some.
Hailing from Beaumont, Texas, it's kind of natural that the first ingredient in their brand of gumbo is some rockin' Texas Blues. "Blues Outside My Window" starts things off with the whole band tearin' it up and kickin' some ass. Just how good this gumbo is has yet to be determined, but I do know this - it's going to be hot!
The funk is added with the title track, "Fried Chicken & Whiskey". With the lyrics pretty much being the band jive talkin' 'tween themselves and fried chicken and whisky being the main words, this one is all about the music. It's full of some very serious rhythm grooves, and heavy on the funk.
"Mr. Ervin" is a song dedicated to the late Beaumont blues man, Ervin Charles. This one's all about Jack - and, of course - his mentor. You can't help but feel the sincerity in his vocals as Jack sings about missing his friend. This one has all the ingredients of a perfect ballad - real and heartfelt lyrics, soulful vocals, slow and steady rhythm, and scorching guitar riffs. This was one awesome track. Well done UltraSuede!
Man, this band knows how to "Throw A Boogie Woogie". Whoa! A good bowl of gumbo is nothing without lots of spice, and this two minute barn burner provides some heaping doses. This total free for all is worth a few hits of the replay button.
A pissed off woman with a gun in her hand is never a good thing. However, it sounds even scarier when she's a "Blind Woman With A Gun". Susan steals the show on this one. She wrote the song, sings her heart out on it, and kicks ass on the keyboards. Unfortunately, that's not all she's kickin' ass on. Ya see, although she's blind, she's still able to hear her man, with another women, in her bed.....and then there's that gun. This is some good old dirty blues as it's best.
"Memphis" is an absolutely beautiful piece of work. The harmony between Jack and Gin Gin is a pleasure to listen to, the precise way the slide, lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars meld together is commendable and the rhythm is profound. Another extremely well done track.
It's a proven theory that using good ingredients, is synonymous with making a good product. From what I've just heard, UltraSuede has every right to call themselves a band that plays "a gumbo of styles with blues as the roux". They actually may want to expand on that and say "a delicious gumbo of styles with real good blues as the roux".
Other tracks on "Fried Chicken & Whiskey" include: "Ballad Of Yvonne & Angel", "Cajun Queenie", "Good At Being Bad", Turn Me Loose In Your Kitchen", and "Knucklebuster".
You can check out Jack Edery & UltraSuede by going to www.myspace.com/UltraSuede409. Tell him you heard Blewzzman raving about it, so you just had to come and get some "Fried Chicken & Whi