Simmered and Stewed
One of Tas Cru's earlier albums was titled "Grizzle n' Bone" and that is a fair approach to his blues with roots accents. His crusty, seasoned singing is matched with his very adept songwriting and solid, adept guitar, ably supported by some fine studio musicians. In fact he redoes "Grizzle n' Bone" in a rollicking performance (terrific piano from Chip Lamson) as he sings about used to get biscuits and gravy and now all he gets is grizzle and bone.
"Feel I'm Falling" is a stark call for help set against a trance groove in the manner of Otis Taylor with swirling repeated guitar riff and some biting slide guitar before it segues into a more emphatic, driving segment displaying his skill at arranging his material as well as singing and playing with Dick Earl Erickson adding haunting harmonica. On the plaintive ballad, "Time and Time," Erickson's mournful harmonica again adds to the mood. "Road To My Obsession" has a dynamic groove as Tas heads down a lonesome road with 200 miles to go to pay his dues, as he will play them blues and recounts his experiences playing. The closing track is a reworking and interpretation of Jackie Wilson's hit "Higher and Higher," that builds to its jubilant climax
This is a consistently strong recording that displays why Tas Cru has become a popular performer on the blues circuit. His music is fresh and original, wonderfully played whether he is playing acoustically or getting a rocking groove on, and with a gravelly, honest vocal approach making for a first-rate recording. And he is even better live. For more information on Tas Cru, visit the website, http://www.tascru.com.
I received a review copy from VizzTone. This review originally appeared in the July-August Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 373). Here Tas Cru performs "Grizzle n' Bone."