Blue Lunch 

Big Sound Blues (Wilbert's Records)


The hep cats of Blue Lunch have always been a diverse outfit, tapping their love of classic R&B and doo-wop in addition to "straight" blues. The band's celebrating two decades of music with the release of its fourth CD, a collection that comes hard with predictably rock-solid playing and a distinctive stylistic mix.

The iron man here is guitarist-vocalist Bob Frank, whose versatility clearly grounds the band. Not many outfits that strut their swing stuff so well can put on a country-blues face that's just as respectable -- as Blue Lunch does here on Frank's version of Robert Lockwood's "Little Boy Blue." Frank's originals stand up nicely alongside the well-chosen vintage covers; his sly Latin/lounge mash-up "You Got to Dance the Cha Cha With Me" is as good as almost anything from Roomful of Blues or Little Charlie & the Nightcats. The best track, though, is the smokin' cover of the Five Royales' "I Do," which, in an ideal world, would be Blue Lunch's radio single.

Speaking of Regional Beat

More by Duane Verh


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