Quit The Women For The Blues
Vin Mott Music
In his twenties, young harmonica wizard Vin Mott will surely attract notice with his debut recording. On this he is backed by his band of Sean Ronan (guitar), Dean Shot (upright, electric bass) and Andrei Koribanics (drums), with keyboards audible in the backing at times. Mott kicks off a collection of idiomatic Chicago-styled blues with the title track, "Quit The Women (For The Blues)," as he sings about quitting the women for a little thing called the blues set to a groove that evokes Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor," and a Ronan shows a bit of Hubert Sumlin's influence in his playing but is far from a copyist. The leader shows off his wet, fat tone on his lengthy solo as well as a credible singer.
The medium tempo rocker like "Make Up Your Mind," is another showcase for his driving harmonica style as well as Ronan's precise playing. An atmospheric, slow blues, "The Factory," where he sings about can't do no more whisky or more cocaine, this living ain't living, as he has been beaten down by the factory, has him on chromatic harp while Ronan (with a short guitar break) and the rhythm provide low-key support. Ronan is on slide guitar adding some "Dust My Broom" on the shuffle "I'm a Filthy Man," where his animated vocal sounds slight distorted (perhaps singing through the harp mike). "Freight Train" sounds inspired by Junior Parker's "Mystery Train," with more impressive harmonica and a fast, fleet guitar solo, although the tempo is a trifle too fast (probably great for dancers live). There is a nod to the "Key to the Highway" melody on the animated shuffle, "Ol' Greasy Blues." another performance that shows Mott's ability to take traditional blues materials to construct his originals.
The album closes with the instrumental "Hott Mott's Theme," a hyper-kinetic tempo-ed feature for the leader's harp and Ronan's crisp, swinging fretwork. This is certainly a fun recording to listen to and takes this listener back to the bar bands I was listening to when I got into the blues decades ago. One can imagine the good times when they play various taverns and other venues in their native New Jersey and this writer looks forward to more from Mott in the future.
I received my review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the March-April 2017 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 371). Here is a video clip of Vin Mott is performing the title track.