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Paul Black and the Flip Kings
King Dollar,  House of Blues CD HOBme 7001087009-2, 1996

 Black and blue, with style

This is some down and dirty New Orleans style blues, scraped right out of the gutter, and I mean that as the highest compliment. Paul Black is a wickedly nuanced slide guitarist, playing a mixture of traditional blues (three by Robert Johnson), Stones covers ("The Last Time" and "Factory Girl"), and bunch of originals. Armed with this introduction, I sat down expecting a Stevie Ray Vaughn clone. Boy, was I wrong! Black’s got his own set of moves, with a great bending slide movement, and the set’s about half electric, half acoustic. Black’s got a real funky feel, with a genuinely scary voice that moves from a low gravely rumble to a broken yelp. The Flip Kings, especially Andy Linderman on harp, provide just the right slow-blues backing. The only two misses are the Stones covers, although "Factory Girl" is interesting–actually less bluesy than the original, with a weird repeated percussive chomp driving through the entire song. This is a very nicely recorded (if somewhat highly produced) attempt to reproduce a live sound. The acoustic slide intros to several of the songs have all kinds of fret squawks purposely left in, giving a particularly nasty sound. Warning: playing this album before noon will confuse the brain, since you’ll swear it was 2 a.m. in a swamp nightclub. Paul Black is the real thing–get this album while it’s still hot from the fire.– Bill Kuhn

 Glenn Brooks says... Pretty good for a guy from Madison. It looks like this album is out-of-print already, due to problems with the House of Blues label. But it’ll return–it’s too good to stay long gone.


Paul Black, guitar and vocals; John Tubbs, bass, violin, backing vocals; Brian "Chance" Howard, percussion, backing vocals, analog sampling; Andy Linderman, harmonica, percussion, backing vocals.


Produced by David Rivkin.

Copyright © 1998 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.