Tuesday, July 29, 2014

That’s When The Blues Begins
Ruff Kutt Blues Band
Vizztone Records
14 Tracks

When I first saw this CD, I thought it may be a European blues band, but when I saw Anson Funderburgh’s name on it I got very excited.  His Texas blues playing recently resurfaced with Eric Lindell.  I saw them in New Orleans during Jazzfest.  Vocalist Finis Tasby, combines with Anson and Zac Harmon on guitar and James Goode on bass to lead this ensemble.  They play Texas blues, which has a special place in blues lovers hearts.  Goode wrote or co-wrote the entire CD.  He is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.  So on to the music!

The opening cut is “Deep Elam Blues”. Gives a slow churning groove of blues.  Some tasty guitar licks support Finnes Tasby’s vocals.  “Blues In My Blood” follows with a bit more funky groove.  I liked the lyrics, and the overall feel of the song.  Song 3 is “Don’t It Make You Cry” continues with good vocals by Tasby.  It remains in a slow Texas groove.  The next cut “Oh Woman” has some nice sax support by Ron Jones, including a great solo.  “Down So Low” switches to Zac Harmon on vocals.  This is another slow groovy tune that hit on all cylinders.

Finnis Tasby comes back to vocals on “Bare Foot Blues” picks up the beat.  Nice guitar work by both Harmon and Anson.  Gentleman John Street supports it with some nice keyboards.  Zac Harmon does
the remaining vocals except for track 13.  “Blues Ain’t A Color”  is up next.  It is a mid-tempo soulful song, with nice keyboard support.  “That’s When The Blues Begins” gets back to some soulful blues, with a hint of gospel harmonies, a nice touch by the band.  Up next is a New Orleans influenced intro this uptempod  song “That Woman Gives Me Fever”.  Track 9 is “I’m Over You Woman”  This song is fine, but not great.
“Going To Bluesville” is a soft rocking hard peace.  It has a nice tempo jam, and is likely at on stage.  Zac Harmon gives a gritty vocal on “Touched By Her Flame”.  It is a solid more down home tune.  Finis Tasby returns to vocals for the last time on the CD on “Let’s Dance” with great guitar and sax work here.  I can see people grinding it out on the dance floors of Texas to this tune.  The closing cut is “When A Bluesman Goes To Heaven”.  I really like this.  Great reference to past Texas bluesmen who would be in the heaven blues band.  Good vocals by Zac Harmon.  This one is sure to be a crowd favorite.
Overall a fine CD has been made.  I love to see Anson back.  The only sad for the future is the Finis Tasby had a big stroke post this recording.  We all wish him luck in his recovery.  This is one to buy!
Reviewed by Mark Nelson



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