CD is the work of three exceptional blues musicians
from the Milwaukee area. The trio consists of Jim
Liban on harp, vocals and baritone guitar; Jim Schutte
on drums; and Perry Weber on guitar and vocals.
Simply stated, these fellas are the real deal. Jim
Liban is one of the top blues harp players in the
world, but woefully under recognized, and is a soulful
singer as well. Schutte and Weber have exceptionally
strong blues pedigrees (as does Liban), which can
be seen below:
He has been a professional drummer with internationally
renowned Blues artists from 1972 – Present.
Professional recordings include "I Smell a
Rat" with Lester Davenport and Jimmy Dawkins,
"The American Living Blues Festival Live in
Europe" with a host of blues legends, "Hot
Wire '81" with Jimmy Dawkins, "Beauty
Isn't Always Visual", with Bryan Lee, "Serious"
with Luther Allison, Wound Up Tight with Lonnie
Brooks and Johnny Winter, and "Bayou Lightening
Strikes Again" with Lonnie Brooks. In addition,
taught Blues workshops in France for the French
government organization, The Federation National
of Activities Musical.
Currently fronts Perry Weber & The DeVilles,
formed in early 2007. The band plays a mix of Blues/Roots/Americana
music. Before forming The DeVilles, the members
of the group had toured and/or recorded with such
luminaries as: Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Jr. Wells,
Bryan Lee, Hubert Sumlin, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Jim
Liban, and Nick Moss....just to name a few!!
1. All Corned Up (Liban) –
This instrumental tune has a late night, after hours
feel. Incredible tone on the harp! A woozy, late
night tip of the hat to the masters Walter –
Little Walter and Walter Horton.
Hot Tongue and Cold Shoulder (Weber) –
This song is written and sung by the group’s
guitarist, Perry Weber. It has a tasty, stripped
down Jr. Watson feel, with clever lyrics. It’s
a very nice track. Liban plays baritone guitar on
this song – no harp.
3. I’ve Got a Job (Liban) –
Slow roller of a track. HUGE harp tone, tasteful
guitar and barebones drum work. I like this one
a lot! You can taste the sawdust on the floor…
Maxwell Street (Liban) – Juke joint-style
tribute to what you would’ve heard on Maxwell
Street in the 1950s. Very raw & very cool!
I Say What I Mean (Liban) – Clever
loping shuffle, in the style of the songs Willie
Dixon wrote for Howlin’ Wolf. It’s got
a little bit of a menacing feel to it. That’s
OK, as this IS the blues!
Someday Baby (Liban) – Similar in
feel to “Worried Life Blues”. It’s
a 1950s-style slow blues. It’s got great acoustic
harp & vocals, with spare backing of guitar
Big Fat Woman (Weber) – Definitely
NOT P/C, but lyrically it’s still a lot of
fun, P/C or not. Shoot, we all need to lighten up
a little anyway!! Big Women out there, Mr. Weber’s
lookin’ for ‘ya! Especially if you wear
stretch pants (listen to the song.) The tune is
a nice shuffle that features Weber’s guitar
– no harp on this one either.
If You Think (Liban) – This one has
a great swamp blues feel tied to a Reed/Taylor rhythm.
Close your eyes and you might be able to hear Lazy
Lester kickin’ this one 40 years ago, although
Lester never played harp like Jim Liban! Great gobs
of greasy harp in this one folks- WOW!
I’m a Selfish Man (Liban) –
A stylistic tribute to Rice Miller. Liban’s
vocals here are reminiscent of Rick Estrin, the
harp tone, too. This song gets the Texas double
shuffle treatment. Liban work the vocal very hard.
Jim and Rick Estrin do the Sonny Boy (Rice Miller)
material about as well as anyone out there.
You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore (Liban)
– A nifty little rock’n’roll track,
sounding something like George Bedard & The
Kingpins would perform (check Bedard’s work
out – you won’t be disappointed.) This
tune has an old T-Birds feel, but without the T-Bird
grease. That came courtesy of folks like Keith Ferguson
and Preston Hubbard.
145 Blues (Liban) – The CD ends as
it began, with a late night groovin’ instrumental
track. This is a set-closing harp showcase for Liban.
It reminds me very much of Walter Horton in tone
– he was the master of tone. Walter liked
to play instrumentals where he played the harp “verses”
over and over, each time in different styles and
using different tricks. That’s what Jim Liban
has done with this song.
The entire CD has a loose, stripped down juke joint
vibe - just guitar, drums, harp and vocals on most
tracks. No tricks or gimmicks here, folks. Shoot,
the closest thing present to an electric bass guitar
(sorry Cornbread) is a baritone guitar. Jim Liban’s
harp tone is HUGE, both amplified and acoustic and
his vocals are very good. The guitar work of Perry
Weber is of the Eddie Taylor less-is-more style
(Tasty!) and the drums drive the songs along without
overpowering them. A true blues ensemble sound in
the spirit of the master of Maxwell Street. Let’s
give it a 4.5 on the blues-o-meter (that’s
9 on a 10 scale – not bad at all!)