of Jeff Alexander - School
Cousin Moe Music. Inc. 2002
Thurston - lead vocals; Levon Helm - drums; Tom Maloney
- rhythmn guitar; Rich McDonough - lead guitar; Gus
Thornton - bass.
celebration of the songs of Jeff Alexander on the CD
"School for Fools," is as autobiographical
as they come. At the urging of Larry Thurston, the concept
of this album came together aided by the talents of
many local St. Louis blues musicians. Where most of
the regular players are listed above other talents sitting
in on this endeavor include Keith Doder on harp, Andrew
Falco on rhythm guitar, Jimmy Eppard on slide guitar.
Johnnie Johnson puts up some sweet keys on a two tracks.
Sweet back up vocals are provided by La-Rita Gaskins
and Eugenia "Pepper" Swensen. The combination
of the voices and the instrumentation provide a smooth
path down what seems to be the rocky road of Jeff Alexander's
Thurston lives the words of Jeff's songs. Being close
friends, Larry is able to put into vocals the pain of
Jeff Alexander's soul. I'm sure they're very good friends!
Levon Helm, most noted as the drummer for "The
Band," and playing a Pentecostal preacher in a
Steven Segal movie. He provides the steady beat, that
along with Gus Thornton on bass, fills out the lower
end for everybody else to get real creative.
of the stuff I liked:
off with "Broken Heart and
It Broke" you hear how one man's life has
gone so bad that all of the good that he struggled to
gain has turned against him. His woman, his furniture,
his best friend, and his secret stash of money - all
gone. This is his broken heart and it broke!
"You Know Who You Are" talks about
parasites and cannibals along with lazy people sucking
your blood dry. This man has been wronged.
"Lost Dog Blues" talks about all of
us. Playing that pinball of quests that keep us going
from one blues bar to the next. Sometimes we don't know
why but we still go.
tells us all that we've arrived. What we have it isn't
right, but we go to school. We can find out through
the eradication of ignorance we find out how much we've
been missing by the lack of money, or at least, that's
what someone is willing to tell us. Just when things
were goin' good, we pick up on
"My Woman Left Me." This is where you
come to the realization that you're no longer willing
to pay for pain and end it before the attorneys do.
"Blues for Brooklyn" laments the problem
when yuppies moved downtown. Displacement by economic
progress is never fun. Well, enough of this fun; let's
head to the graveyard.
"Grave diggin' Man" talks about a man
so deep in a hole that it's a grave and everything is
fallen in and he can't climb out!
the chance to see this group of musicians live for even
some of this music we can all feel a little bit of Jeff
Alexander. Me? I'd buy it! A great CD covering one man's
view of life in urban cities.
my view from the Left Coast,