Brenda Barbee, Roots Music Report
The Blues Cousins sizzle on this live CD!
You do not normally equate Russia with Blues bands, but after listening to The Blues Cousins newest CD, Alive in the USA, that notion could very well change. The Blues Cousins have been named the most popular blues band in Russia and for a good reason-these guys sizzle! The band has been together for 13 years and it is so very obvious. Everything they do is in perfect sync.
The CD consists of many of the favorite blues tunes and these guys presentation will make them even greater favorites. Lead singer Levan Lomidze has a great voice and uses it to the max to capture the listener and involve them in the song. On top of that, throw in some excellent musical accomplishment from Slava Ignatov on drums and Sergey Patrushiev on bass and some incredible guitar playing and you have a CD that absolutely rocks. The trio is as versatile as they are talented as demonstrated by their versions of soft, slow ballads which are performed equally well.
If you are a blues fan, you really owe it to yourself to listen to this band from Moscow.
Brenda Barbee - RMR Staff Reviewer
Peter Blewzzman Lauro
Their musical talents are masterful, and their stage presence and crowd handling
The Blues Cousins
"Alive In The U.S.A."
BY PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO, © AUGUST, 2005
THE BLUES COUSINS are said to be the "Best Blues Band in Moscow, Russia." Interesting! Obviously then, there must be several other blues bands in the city. This could virtually make Moscow a city with a better blues community than many in America. I for one am happy to see the REDS turning to the Blues.
The band, which has been together for 15 years, consists of LEVAN LOMIDZE on guitar and lead vocals, SLAVA IGNATOV on drums and background vocals, and SERGEY PATRUSHIEV on bass. "ALIVE IN THE U. S. A." was recorded live at the Sunbanks Blues Festival, in Grand Coulee, WA, during the bands second trip to America. As is the case with many foreign blues bands, playing and being recorded in the country where the blues was born was a dream come true for the BLUES COUSINS.
Although "ALIVE IN THE U. S. A." consists mostly of the 'usual' blues covers, there is nothing 'usual' at all about this band. These three young men have this interpretation thing under control. Their musical talents are masterful, and their stage presence and crowd handling are of veteran caliber. On top of that, I don't know what kind of dues they've paid, but they got the blues down pat.
The CD opens with a nicely done version of "MESSIN' WITH THE KID". Right off the bat the cousins start kickin' some blues ass and never let up. The high energy, tight groove that they started off in already had me impressed. This relentless version of this track would probably have impressed Junior and Buddy as well.
The next track, "NO MORE DOGGING", had me wondering just how long these guys could keep the frantic pace on this 75 minute performance. Here it was, only halfway through the second track, and their high energy level had me getting exhausted. This was one serious effort by all three players.
"TALK TO ME" slowed it down to a pace where this dynamic rhythm section had a chance to take a short breather - real short. This one was all about the guitar and LEVAN handled it as well as any I've heard. This is one of the best tracks on the disc.
The next track, "SWEET HOME SIBERIA"..........excuse me, I mean "SWEET HOME CHICAGO", was performed - in my opinion - as well as any blues band has ever performed it. They had the crowd 'hootin', howlin' and singin' along as if they were a veteran Chicago Blues Band performing to a hometown crowd at Legends.
Midway through this live recording, THE BLUES COUSINS literally had the crowd in their hands. Now it was time to rock the joint and that's just what they did with a blistering version of "JOHNNY B. GOODE".
"MY BABY IS COMING HOME", a slow soft ballad, featured LEVAN at his peak. Once again, this was blues guitar at some of it's finest. He was also quite impressive with his vocals. Although there is no question that this band is geared for the louder, faster, harder and higher energy style of blues, I found myself impressed at their ability to equally play a slower, sensitive style of play as well.
There is no question in my mind as to why THE BLUES COUSINS are the best blues band in Moscow. Hopefully, on their next visit to the States, Florida will be one of their stops.
You can visit the Blues Cousins on the Web at: www.blues-cousins.ru/