Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Duke Danger Finds If It Ain't One Thing, Its Another

The Belgium Blues Boulevard label, a subsidiary of Music Avenue, had issued a number of CDs that make available releases of blues-rock and blues that will be of differing interest to blues enthusiasts.

Duke Faglier aka Duke Danger has been playing music since a Daytona Beach youngster and played in groups that included Duane and Greg Allman. Inspired and influenced by such blues legends as Albert, B.B. and Freddie King; James Cotton, Little Milton as well as soul legends like Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and Ray Charles, he toured with Wayne Cochran and shared stages with Clarence Carter, Bo Diddley, The Tams, Jackie Wilson and Albert King. Toss in some touches of Roy Buchanan, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and Albert Collins, one has an interesting foundation for blues laced with rock’n’soul.

Touring with Jerry Lee Lewis for 13 years certainly has helped him mature as a performer. His new album, If It Ain't One Thing, Its Another, is a highly listenable set that has a rocking feel but always blues-soul rooted. He sings with plenty of heart and grit although with a slightly limited range, and has a nice band to support his fretwork. Special note is of saxophonist John Longo as well as Bunky Keels on keyboards. He is also a pretty fair songwriter that suits his grainy voice. If he can’t completely pull off Damn Your Eyes, his originals like the title track or Love at First Sight, by Bud Reneau & Don Goodman, show how his vocals possess a definite charm reminiscent of Elvin Bishop.

On the latter tune he effectively employs an echoey treble to add atmosphere. Perhaps this listener’s favorite track has Duke ‘rocking all my life, but’ Now I’m Singing the Blues, with ripping sax and honky tonk piano from Keels. One More Last Chance is a nice ballad and there is lively funk-tinged rendition of Rufus Thomas’ That Woman Is Poison. Longo adds a jazzy flavor to Tuffer Than Tuff, credited to Cole Porter but is actually Jimmy Witherspoon’s Money Get Cheaper. For some reason credited to Duke as Who’ll The Next Fool Be, the album closes with a capable rendition of Charlie Rich’s classic Who Will The Next Fool Be, and the influence of Jerry Lee Lewis (who did a killer recording of this) can be heard in the vocal as well.

This review originally appeared in the March 2009 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 314) where it was part of a review of three Blues Boulevard releases. The review copy was either sent by Blues Boulevard or the publication.

No comments: