The fact that this album exists at all is a minor miracle. A breakdown and a heart attack dissolved the legendary Harlem blues duo, Satan and Adam, at the turn of the millennium. In March 2010, on the day the band entered the studio for the first time in more than 15 years, drummer Dave Laycock ended up in critical care at a local hospital. But Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee and Adam Gussow are survivors, and this album is testament to that fact: the first all-new release by Satan and Adam since 1996.
Propelled by Magee’s raspy vocals and Gussow’s soaring, amped-up harmonica, Back in the Game features the same gritty mix of blues, jazz, soul, and funk that fans of Satan and Adam have loved since 1991, when their debut release, Harlem Blues, was nominated for a W. C. Handy award. You'll find some standards here ("Big Boss Man," "Broke and Hungry," "Fever"), some Sterling Magee originals ("Ain't Nobody," "Hey, Hey, Hey," "Lotto 54"), and a couple of originals from Gussow, including the gospel-grooved "Tell The World I Do” and “Thunky Fing Rides Again,” featuring the “groovemaster,” bassist Jerry Jemmott.
Many of the tracks have been spiced up with bass, guitar, and percussion contributed by a pack of Mississippi-based musicians, including Gussow’s wife, Sherrie, who makes her recording debut on tambourine. The album ends with an over-the-top romp called "Listen to the Music" from the original Harlem Blues sessions in 1990: just Magee and Gussow kicking and stomping, taking no prisoners. If you want to know why they called Magee "Mr. Satan" back on 125th Street in Harlem, this gem from the archives will make that clear.
Back In The Game is old-school blues rippling with funky uptown energies--one more ride on the Harlem/Mississippi express! Like John Lee Hooker in The Healer and B. B. King in Riding With The King, Sterling Magee has become a deep blues source, an elder statesman with some unforgettable stories to tell.