Sunday, March 11, 2012

Randy McAllister's Roots Musical Stew

I had been familiar with Randy McAllister from a CD he did for JSP several years ago. He may best be described as a singer-songwriter with a blues man’s core. His latest recording, Dope Slap Soup (Reaction Records), certainly transcends genres and has him playing harp (and drums on one track) backed by a number of musicians including Mike Morgan.

The songs vary from the opening Clear My Head, that would not be out-of-place on an Americana or even CMT type playlist; the soulful When I Get Back Home, one of two performances that are also on Morgan’s Stronger Every Day; Can’t Pick Your Relatives with its insistent beat and solid guitar from Matt Woodburn in addition to McAllister’s forceful harp; the swamp feel provided from Woodburn’s use of tremolo on $127.00 Sandwich, an amusing song about overdrawing his checking account; and a bit of honky tonk flavor on Hardwired.

An interesting change of pace, even if not strictly a blues but McAllister is entertaining and enlightening musical voice.

This review originally appeared in the May 2008 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 304). My review copy was likely provided by the label or a publicist.  Here is a video of him.

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