Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Old Man in Love reviewed by Rick Davis

Old Man In Love
Travis Moonchild Haddix
CDS Records Entertainment, LLC
12 Tracks

Travis "Moonchild" Haddix began his music career playing the piano at the age of seven. He was so inspired by B.B. King when he played daily at the studios of WDIA in Memphis, that he soon abandoned the piano for the guitar. After his family moved from Mississippi to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he continued to develop into an accomplished musician. In 1959 he moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he joined the D.L. Rocco Band which later earned him a spot with the Little Johnnie Taylor group. He has made contributions to the albums of Artie "Bluesboy" White, Dickie Williams, Jimmy Dawkins, Michael Burks, Charles Wilson, the late Son Seals, and Lee "Shot" Williams.  In 1999 Travis received Best Male Blues Artist, Best New Blues Artist, Best Blues Entertainer, and Contemporary Blues Artist Of The Year.
Old Man In Love, the latest CD from Haddix, is cleverly written with the interjection of humor especially on numbers like "She Hit A Grand Slam" and "Cialis Before I See Alice." Travis produced and has wrote all the music. His experience playing lead guitar and well as his seasoned vocals are backed by a full all-star band with the line-up consisting of Ed Lemmers on bass, Brian Hager and Mike Calhoun on guitars, Gil Zachary on piano, Don Williams on organ, and Jeremy Sullivan on drums. The horn section making a strong contribution to the album, are Jeff Hager, trumpet and arrangements, David Ruffin on tenor sax, and T.J. Fortunato on baritone sax. "She Hit A Grand Slam" is the opening number with a funky twist and a superb horn arrangement not to mention solid guitar solos and soulful vocals from Haddix. The title track "Old Man In Love" tells the story of such an intense love for a woman that she "can tell me to go to hell in such a way that I’m looking forward to the trip." I believe this song captures the many years of experience on guitar as well as any cut on the album. He really cuts deep with the soulful guitar licks on the slower blues tune "Stankin' Thankin." The age old concept of trust seems to be the issue on "Two Steps From A Lie." "Break A Habit With A Habit" is another soulful blues tune dealing with a woman who, according to Haddix, can't break and old habit with a new habit. "Stiff Stuff," another funky tune, explains the process of aging in great detail. In his up tempo, funky tune "Too Narrow," everything in his world it seems is "Too Narrow." His guitar expertise once again takes center stage as he shares his subconscious thoughts in "Dreamed I Was Dreaming." The B.B. King style guitar is heard throughout the next tune "Let Me Owe You One." Haddix can't buy into the lies he hears in the tune "Stop Lying About Your Age." He brings in more funk and a full horn arrangement, along with fiery guitar solos, to conclude this new collection of blues gems with the tune "Cix Spells Six."

I highly recommend Old Man In Love. This CD deserves to be on a major blues label.

Reviewed by Rick Davis

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