Friday, September 11, 2015

Andy Poxon Must Not Be Crazy

Must Be Crazy (EllerSoul Records) by Washington area guitarist-vocalist Andy Poxon is the latest by a young phenom that certainly has attracted the praises of many like Duke Robillard (who produced his previous CD) and Mark Wenner of The Nighthawks who is quoted on the back cover. For this, Poxon travelled to the Nashville area where he recorded at Kevin McKendree's Rock House Studio. McKendree (himself once a young DC area phenom) handles the keyboards and co-wrote 4 of the 13 Poxon originals (and his son Yates co-wrote the last track as well as plays organ).

Poxon's continual growth and maturity as a guitarist and a singer is established right away. here is someone who has listened to vintage B.B. King, Pee Wee Crayton, Tiny Grimes, T-Bone Walker and the like and brings a lot of heart and personality to his vocals as this recording starts off with a B.B. King styled bluesYou Must Be Crazy, with some explosive guitar. There's the appealing New Orleans groove of Living Alone, and the sizzling jump blues Next to You, with his fleet, clean, uncluttered guitar standing out. There is terrific slow blues, "Cold Weather" where Poxon evokes classic T-Bone Walker, and he is equally comfortable with the sophisticated jazzy feel of Too Late. The closing instrumental, Rebound, with Yates McKendree, has a nice relaxed groove that evokes classic Memphis soul instrumentals of the sixties.

The performances here are uniformly first-rate. Kudos to McKendree, bassist Steve Mackey, drummer Kenneth Blevins and saxophonist Jim Hoke for the terrific backing. The McCrary Sisters and Chloe Kohanski add backing vocals. But Andy Poxon is the star here and as a singer, as a songwriter and as a guitarist, he has hit a grand slam with the fabulous music on Must Be Crazy.

I received my review copy from a publicist. This review appeared in the September-October 2014 Jazz & Blues Report.  Here is Andy performing with Mark Wenner & His Blues Warriors. 

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