With [amplified] harp and one-man-band percussion from Adam Gussow and [electric] guitar from Alan Gross, the sound is surprisingly ear-filling....Many of the songs were originally Chicago-electric, made fresh by a very different kind of arrangement. Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right" is a perfect example. It almost seems like you're hearing the song better; certainly nothing is drowned out by too-loud instruments. Chicago played like Mississippi? Why not? There's a certain lightness to "Tequila" that gives it a different quality from the many, many versions performed and recorded. It's also a nice frame for Gussow's exceptional and clean harp work...There's a soul/jazz sound to "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," which owes partly to the addition of bassist Bill Harrison, and partly to Gross's use of jazz-style chording...Gussow plays the plaintive melody line masterfully....There isn't a bad cut on this album...Highly recommended."
--Blues Music (Summer 2019)
From the very first track, an up-tempo bluesy version of “Tequila,” the 1958 release by “The Champs,” I was drawn right in….[D]on’t think for a minute that this is a laid-back, front porch acoustic affair. Gussow’s amplified – and seemingly effortless – harmonica drives much of this collection, and it swings hard. Real hard… A]n up-tempo album of blues standards… and then some, all generously seasoned with Gussow’s masterful, very fluid harmonica playing. Highly recommended!
--Blues Blast (August 2018)
The duo...come about their blues pedigree naturally, allowing them to excel at songs of a vintage variety....[T]hey kick off the proceedings with a rousing take on Tequila and further sustain the energy through carousing covers of Rollin' and Tumblin', That's All Right and Joe Zawinul's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy....[Robert Johnson] is represented by his signature song Cross Road Blues, any redo of which carries a risk of redundancy. Yet as one of three live tracks tagged to the tail end of the album, the energy and immediacy of the Blues Doctors' performance provides a renewed verve and vitality...Credit the Blues Doctors for coming up with a prescription that all but guarantees a good time.
--Living Blues (October 2018)
Adam Gussow and Alan Gross, a.k.a. The Blues Doctors, are Mississippi-based blues veterans who play a mix of Delta standards and urban grooves from the Texas-to-Chicago axis with some New Orleans funk thrown in. They're a two-man band with a big, bold sound: Gussow on harmonica and drumset, Gross on guitar, with both men sharing vocals. Their debut, Roosters Happy Hour (2013), spent several months at #1 on Amazon's "Hot New Releases in Acoustic Blues" chart and hit #10 on the Living Blues national radio airplay chart.
Same Old Blues Again is their second album. Recorded at the Hill Country Recording Service in Water Valley, Mississippi, it swings, struts, and grooves hard, beginning with a bluesed-up remake of "Tequila" that features Gussow's squealing high notes. "Rollin' and Tumblin'" introduces a new sound for the duo: cigar-box guitar, handmade by Gross, with slide and harp paired Delta-style. The title track, driven by a loping New Orleans beat, sings of a young man betrayed by love, drinking heavily and drifting downward towards despair.
Classic compositions by Mississippi masters Elmore James ("Cry For Me, Baby") and Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup ("That's All Right") anchor the album, which ends with a three-track live set recorded at the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic and powered by Jimmy Reed ("You Don't Have to Go"), Muddy Waters ("Take You Downtown"), and Robert Johnson ("Crossroads Blues"). The bittersweet sounds of soul-jazz show up in "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and Gussow's minor-key original, "Blues For Hank," both of which feature jazz bassist Bill Harrison, a Chicago veteran.
The album's big surprise is "Magic," Olivia Newton John's 1980 pop hit, arranged as a quiet but urgent blues-pop incantation. Atlanta-based R&B vocalist Zaire Love shadows and dances around Gussow's voice and harmonica, creating a haunting sonic tapestry, casting a spell.
Lonely hearts and endless grooves. Same Old Blues Again
To purchase the album directly from the artists (as downloadable zip file containing 256 kb/s mp3s and liner notes), click THIS LINK
To purchase the album directly from the artists (as downloadable zip file containing CD-quality WAV files and liner notes), click THIS LINK
You can also purchase the album from iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.
CDs are available directly from The Blues Doctors at the following two links:
<§USA ($15 postpaid)
§Canada, Mexico, UK, Europe, and all other international addresses ($23 postpaid)
FOR BOOKINGS OR TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW, please contact Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org
all photo credits © Steven W. Likens