Thursday, April 19, 2012

Curtis Salgado Makes A Clean Getaway

Vocalist and harp player, Curtis Salgado, fortunately has come back with a vengeance after having very serious health issues. Perhaps marking the clean bill of health from doctors recently, his new disc for Shananchie is Clean Getaway. Recorded with the Phantom Blues Band, it is a terrific disc that showcase what a strong and soulful vocalist he is as he traverses the blues and modern soul genres on the performances here.

The title track opens up with some stinging guitar with Salgado singing about selling everything he has to a pawn shop, leave his past behind and take a long vacation and make a clean getaway from things before giving a litany of complaints about the nature of things today. His vocal is well suited to this unusually thoughtful lyrics. The following Both Sorry Over Nothin’ is a nice soul number with him adding some well placed harp while Who’s Lovin’ You, is a soul ballad with a touch of Sam Cooke.

Johnny Guitar Watson's What’s Going On, is evoked on What’s Up With That, with some shattering Watson-styled guitar throughout and the Horns evoking those old Maxwell Davis studio bands. I Don’t Want to Discuss It,” is a hyper-rocking number while 20 Years of B.B. King, is a terrific blues as Salgado sings about his girl giving him the blues with lyrics that incorporates phrases from B.B. King’s recordings and song titles as he has learned more about the blues from her than 20 years of B.B. King. Some really excellent guitar on this track as well. Another performance to note is his cover of Al Green’s Let’s Gets Married.

This album has worn well, with Salgado sounding better each time I give it a listen. The only thing more welcome than this disc is the fact that Curtis Salgado is back and sounding as good as new.

This review originally appeared in the October 2008 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 309). I do not remember my source for the recording, whether Shanachie, a publicist or Jazz & Blues Report. Here is Curtis singing  20 Years of B.B. King.

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