Lookin' for Trouble
First Appeared at The Music Box, August 2003, Volume 10, #8
Written by John Metzger
Recorded over the course of just three days — two in March and one in December — Lookin’ for Trouble perfectly captures the raw edginess of Kim Wilson’s live performances. Of course, it helps that he had his crack touring band in tow. There’s little doubt that by keeping the studio time to a minimum, the group was able to bestow upon this fifteen-song set a sense of urgency that fully exploited its on-stage chemistry.
Stylistically, the songs are throwbacks to the jump and Chicago blues of the late ’40s — a period of time that has influenced Wilson for years. Indeed, it’s a testament to his understanding of the genre that Lookin’ for Trouble — a majority of which contains new compositions — actually sounds like it might have been recorded 50 years ago.
That’s how closely the tunes — as well as the manner in which they were recorded — approximate the earlier era. With the help of a horn section that features saxophonists Gordon Beadle and Doug James along with trumpeter Scott Aruda, songs like Tortured and Hightime positively swing. Elsewhere, the group conjures up a bit of Howlin’ Wolf through the Smokestack Lightning-like slow blues of Hand to Mouth, while guitarist Troy Gonyea adds biting leads to Sometimes and Down with It. Nevertheless, it’s Wilson who steals the show with his gruff vocals and swooping harmonica solos, both of which help keep this collection from becoming just another retro outing. ˝
Lookin' for Trouble is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box