Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Big George Brock Is Ready For Round Two

Bluesman Big George Brock won acclaim for his debut disc, Club Caravan. Round Two (Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art, Inc.) is his follow-up and brings the gruff voiced bluesman with his band augmented by special guest guitarist Hubert Sumlin on two tracks. Brock was born in Grenada ,Mississippi (Magic Sam’s birthplace I believe) and spent many years in St. Louis before returning South. Nothing fancy about Brock’s singing or harp here as he delivers straight ahead performances that echo legends like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters.

After a short spoken intro, Brock opens with the lengthy So Long, where he tells his woman she is going to miss him when he’s gone, as he blows some simple but hard-edged harp as Sumlin throws in his unpredictable twisting licks in support , while No, No Baby, is a simple medium tempo rocker followed by another song associated with Wolf, Poor Boy, although with hints of Fred McDowell and RL Burnside in the backing. Rockin’ Chair sports a spare backing along with Brock’s tough down home harp, while Mattson, MS is a short instrumental with a groove not far removed from a fife and drum band, whereas the feel of Mr. Wal Mart is pretty lowdown with its bump and grind groove as he pleads for Mr. Wal Mart to send his baby home.

Sumlin returns for Brock’s reprise of Wolf’s Shake For Me, an amiable it not riveting performance. Arkansas to Memphis has Brock backed by acoustic guitar, which is followed by the title track, then a rendition of Sugar Mama, followed by Burden Down, the traditional gospel number in a rendition likely owing a bit to the legendary Fred McDowell. Brock ends the proceedings with a short solo track, Call Me Lover, with a spoken intro before he launches into a buoyant performance.

This is an enjoyable collection of downhome Chicago-inspired blues with a heavy Howlin’ Wolf accent that may not be the second coming of the Wolf but makes for some nice listening. It has national distribution but is readily available on or the Cat Head website,

This review appeared in the October 2006 Jazz & Blues Report. I do not remember if I received a review copy from publicist or purchased this. Here is a video of Big George performing.

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