East Side Slim
& Arbuckle – 1861
NorthernBlues Records, 2008
Moreland & Arbuckle (M&A) are 2 young men
from the state of Kansas. They have a deep love of
Mississippi Hill Country blues, hard Chicago slide-guitar
blues and Piedmont blues. Basically, these young men
love the real-deal blues. Aaron Moreland handles the
guitar work, while Dustin Arbuckle blows harp and
sings. Their full lineup is finished off with Brad
Horner playing drums.
If you like your blues raw and real, then M&A
should be right up your alley. They’ve come
into such acclaim that NorthernBlues has signed the
band, with 1861 being M&A’s first release
on the label. By the way, 1861 refers to the year
that Kansas became one of the United States of America.
1. Send You Back To Georgia: (Hound Dog
The boys from Kansas play this one every bit as
raucously as you would expect, as the song was originally
written by Hound Dog Taylor. If you aren’t
familiar with Hound Dog you need to be. Check him
Fishin’ Pole: --
This song is just plain infectious. Nothing fancy,
no gimmicks, just distorted guitars, cool harp and
a great vocal performance.
Tell Me Why: --
After 2 scorching tracks to lead off the CD, the
boys bring it down a bit. This one has a laid-back
Hill County feel. M&A’s love of RL Burnside
is showing here.
Diamond Ring: --
What a cool intro – B3 and harp, leading into
a hypnotic guitar groove. I think the boys were
trying to conjure Junior Kimbrough’s ghost
with this tune. Being young fellas, they do turn
up the heat by the 2 minute mark.
See My Jumper Hangin’ Out On The Line: --
This is a tune RL Burnside is famous for performing.
M&A performs it in all its raw, earthy glory.
Nice job boys!
The Legend: --
Mix some up-tempo raw blues, a spaghetti western
and heartbreak lyric and you’ll have an idea
how this song sounds. I’ll give you a hint
Never Far Behind: --
This one is all country juke. Driving drums, acoustic
harp, lots of resonator guitar. If your BBQ party
is getting dull put this song on – all will
be good! Watch out for that false ending…
Teasin’ Doney: --
This song is a slower-style Hill Country-type tune.
Dustin sings this kind of thing very well and plays
the heck out of that harp – acoustically,
too. At about 2:50, the song morphs into an electric
Please, Please, Mammy: --
Shades of Jimmy and Eddie! (Reed and Taylor that
is) This song has that old Vee-Jay feel that Reed
and Taylor played oh-so-well, although Dustin Arbuckle
is a much better harp player than Jimmy Reed was.
Pittsburgh In The Morning, Philadelphia At Night:
This is a stomper folks! This song could go on for
30 minutes in a hot, sweaty southern juke; it’s
all groove, baby!
Wrong I Do: --
The boys bring it down after the last few smokin’
tunes – especially after the last one. This
is a pretty little acoustic track, resonator and
vocals with just a little harp for seasoning. Very
Wiser Jam: --
M&A and the band cut loose on this set ending
tune. It’s the boys getting’ down and
exploring grooves. It is a little long (6 ½
minutes) but it’s a lot of fun.
This CD, 1861, is a must-buy for all fans of hard
driving, raw, in-your-face, from-the-gut juke joint
blues. Moreland & Arbuckle played St. Louis
near the end of September ’08 at Beale On
Broadway (thanks Bud!) and I’m very sorry
I couldn’t make the show (sorry Bud!) I have
nothing but the highest recommendation for this
CD – 4.5 on the STLBluesometer!