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'Cornbread'By Cornbread

The Black Crowes – Warpaint LiveMark Benno – I Got It Bad!
Marno Records, 2009

Mark Benno, the bluesy Texas guitar and piano player, singer, songwriter has worked with The Doors, Eric Clapton, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bill Wyman, Georgie Fame, Rita Coolidge and Leon Russell. Joining Benno is Jimmie Vaughan's drummer George Rains, Sir Douglas Quintet bassist Jack Barber, and members of the Infamous West Side Horns from San Antonio. Besides playing guitar, this humble looking gentleman attended Le Chef Culinary Arts College in Austin, Texas and is a qualified Chef.

The ten original tracks are:

1. Terminal Case of the Blues – Tenor sax, trumpet and organ
2. Alone In San Antone – Hammond organ accompaniment
3. Texas Oil Driller – Piano & slide guitar, cool lyrics
4. Torture Me – guitar, bass, drums
5. Too Bad You're No Good – Some more Hammond
6. Save our Love – Tenor sax, trumpet and organ
7. Chance With You – a 50’s-esque rock sound to it
8. Tip Jar – another guitar, bass and drums, ain’t broke – don’t fix it
9. My Baby's A Gambler – a nice instrumental
10. Thing Or Two – Tenor sax and trumpet with some rhythm guitar added

This up-tempo and sometimes twelve bar blues has the guitar feel of Albert King and the piano boogie woogie of Johnny Johnson, two of my favorites. Prior to this I had not heard of Benno, wish I had earlier. This CD is solid, good blues guitar tidbits throughout, strong backing band and good lyrics. Benno definitely has the ingredients for and conjures up a heapin’, helpin’ of Texas blues. The guitar is precise, clean and warm sounding – man I’ll take all that I can get. For the gear heads Mark plays a vintage 70’s Fender Stratocaster through a ’65 Fender Vibroverb. This album was recorded and mixed at Blue Cat Studios in San Antonio, Texas. This get’s a strong 4.5 out of 5 on the STLBLuesometer.

Peace and Love
Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP
~ Cornbread@STLBlues.net

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