“Mr. Little Big Man”
Down In The Alley Records
Release date: October 12, 2019
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
“Mr. Little Big Man” is the second release on Down In The Alley Records for Screamin’ John and TD Lind. Their first – “Gimme More” – was just shy of two years back when after a break of twenty years, the members of Edenstreet – a Louisville, KY based rock band – reunited. Still with the same members, the band consists of: Screamin’ John Hawkins on guitars; Tim Arlon (a.k.a. TD Lind) on vocals, guitar and piano; Jeff Crane on bass and backing vocals; Paul Culligan on drums and percussion; and Joel Pinkerton on harmonica.
As with their first release, while keeping the rock edge on some of the tracks, the band displays an obvious affection for the blues. “Mr. Little Big Man” contains eleven tracks with five being TD originals and the other six being covers of a mixed bag of blues artists. The disc’s producer is rock and roll hall of famer, Glyn Johns, who produced so many of the greatest bands from the era that you may just as well say he produced the “British Invasion” and leave it at that.
TD’s piano intro immediately gives the disc’s opening track – “Rollin’ Joanna” – a Bayou blues vibe. Then, just as he starts singing the song’s uptempo lyrics, Joel joins in with a muffled harmonica that’s sounding somewhat like a kazoo; Jeff and Paul come in with the funky rhythm and percussion; John starts laying down some slick blues guitar licks; and this original song takes on a full Mardi Gras dance party feel.
Another original and the disc’s title track – “Mr. Little Big Man” – totally rocks. It’s a rhythm fueled smoker which combines one of Paul’s more profound percussion performances with being the only track featuring two guitars – John on lead and TD on rhythm – making it a great formula for some good ol’ house rockin’ blues.
The duet between John and TD doing their rendition of Lead Belly”s “Goodnight Irene” is unlike anything else on the album. It features John caressing an acoustic guitar so that it hums instead of screams and TD with a most mellifluous vocal performance of this beautiful song.
The disc closes out with an original song that features the never before heard line of “I ain’t gonna be your twisted backbone bitch no more”……just when you thought you’d heard them all. The song’s titled “Reaper’s Knockin'” and with its banjo-like acoustic guitar pickin’; various instruments of percussion; and bizarre lyrics; it’s interestingly different, to say the least. I know, now ya wanna hear it, right?
There is a paragraph on the one-sheet that accompanied the album where Glyn Johns comments on how impressed he was that after only three or four hours of rehearsal, this project was completed in two days. Reading that rang a bell for me so I went back and read something similar that I had mentioned in my review of the bands’ debut release……”Although the CD is titled “Gimme More Time”, more time was certainly not needed to make it all happen. From beginning to end, and I’m talking about from the time they walked into the studio, throughout the mixing and mastering processes, production took all of three days”. That’s called consistency and professionalism.
There are several ways you can find out more about the band: Visit the record company’s website at www.downinthealleyrecords.com or check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/screaminjohnandtdlind. Regardless of how you do it, please tell them the Blewzzman sent you.