Sunday, February 12, 2012

Curley Bridges Has The Keys To The Blues

Another review from 1999 that I likely wrote for the Dc Blues Calendar, at the time the DC Blues Society’s newsletter which I edited. I do not remember whether I received a review copy from Electro-Fi or purchased this CD. He has at least one more release on the label.

North Carolina born pianist Curley Bridges was a part of D.C‘s music scene in the fifties and sixties when he was member of Frank Motley & the Motley Crew. Among his claim to fame as arranging the Motley Crew‘s version of Hound Dog. He moved to Toronto in 1966 with Motley, and then set up his own band later. Since 1981 he lived in Barrie, Ontario, mostly playing solo gigs. The Canadian Electro-Fi label released his first cd, Keys to the Blues, a mix of blues, boogie and jump tunes performed in a no-nonsense style.

A strong singer, he gets plenty of space to showcase his two-handed piano style on material that will b somewhat familiar but given distinctive readings. The opening You Talk Too Much may be better known as Honey Hush that Albert Collins recorded, while he also sings Joe Turner‘s different number, Honey Hush, that he originally recorded with the Motley Crew. Rock Me Baby is given a funk rhythm, while the Brook Benton ballad Thank You Baby, has a tasty sax solo from John Deeham. Other songs are from Ivory Joe Hunter, Memphis Slim, Lowell Fulson and Dave Bartholomew.

While nothing spectacularly original is heard, Bridges‘ delivery of Every Day I Have the Blues and Good Rocking Tonight are fresh and vital. Chris Whiteley adds trumpet (nice muted work on Since I Met You Baby)or harp to several tracks. Overall, this album has many very enjoyable performances and Curley Bridges would certainly be worth bringing back to the States to perform.

The sentiments in that last sentence ring true today. He also has other releases on Electro-Fi including Live At The Silver Dollar, which I have purchased and have enjoyed for a couple of years. I presume these should be readily available. Electro-Fi’s web address is Here is a video of Curley Bridges performing.

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