Thursday, July 26, 2012

Soul Shot reviewed by David Stine

Soul Shot
Curtis Salgado
Alligator Records
11 tracks/46:05 min.

Curtis Salgado should need no introduction to blues fans his having been part of The Nighthawks, Robert Cray, and Roomful of Blues bands over the years. With Soul Shot, Salgado delivers a great soul album. In my mind the ingredients for such are great pipes, a crack band and good arrangements. It's all here on Soul Shot. Aided by most of the Phantom Blues Band and others too many to name, Salgado has created a magnificent CD.

From the get go, song one, titled “What You Gonna Do? Soul Shot gives it up. It’s hard to believe that Salgado survived both cancer and a liver transplant! His voice has never been stronger. “Love Comfort Zone” with its infectious groove will bring a smile. “Getting To Know You” could easily be an Al Green tune. That’s all I’m going to say except that Salgado lays down some nice harp in the middle break. “She Didn’t Cut Me Loose” is maybe my favorite cut on the CD. It’s groove-a-licous and clever. “Nobody But You” lets Salgado “take it to church” with his compliment of background singers. “Let Me Make Love To You” is a blast right out of the late 60s/early 70s soul catalog and Salgado nails it with aplomb. “Love Man” is right out of Otis Redding’s past and into YOUR now. Cut eight, “He Played His Harmonica” is, for me the weakest cut on the CD. It’s just too talky and choppy just OK, lyrically. “Baby Let Me Take You In My Arms” redeems the CD and gets things back on track. Johnny “Guitar” Watson is always welcome and Salgado’s reading of “Strung Out” is right on the money. “A Woman Or The Blues” takes Salgado back to church and you WILL be clapping!

Besides the slight blip of the “harmonica” song, this is a first rate soul CD. If you love Reverend Green, Otis, and any number of soul/blues stars, you’ll want this CD. Although Salgado’s signature harp playing is slight here, his voice and command of the material make up for any shortcomings. This is a must buy if you like your blues soulful. If this doesn’t get him a best soul/blues award, there’s something wrong in someone’s judgment!

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