Rhythm Blues & Boogie
Blue Heart Records
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © October 2022
I honestly don’t remember how, when or where I first met Dave Keyes, but I do know it was a very long time ago. Over those many years, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him a countless number of times, with countless numbers of performers – and while on a few blues cruises – a whole lot of times as a soloist in the piano lounge. What I also know is that every one of those performances were completely enjoyable. And now, for the very first time, I have the pleasure of reviewing his latest release. It’s his sixth and it’s titled Rhythm Blues & Boogie.
For the project, Dave Keyes – on piano, B-3, Wurlitzer, accordion and lead vocals – is joined by: Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums; John Putnam, Early Times and Popa Chubby on guitar; Jeff Anderson and the late David J. Keyes (no relation) on bass; Frank Pagano on drums, percussion and background vocals; Doug MacLeod on acoustic guitar and spoken wisdom; Chris Eminizer on tenor sax; and Tim Ouimette on trumpet and horn arrangements. Along with nine of Dave’s originals, the disc includes a Willie Nelson cover.
On “Shake Shake Shake”, the disc’s opening track, Dave’s Rx for being down in the dumps is far better than what any doctor might prescribe…
“When you’re feeling lonely, when your feeling blue,
when all you see are clouds above, here’s what you’ve got to do.
Just move your feet, clap your hands,
wave your arms in the air like you haven’t got a care.
Just boogie, get on your groove,
shake shake shake, you’ve got to move;
Rock ‘n’ roll, twist & shout,
don’t let nobody get you down just shake it till you work it all out.”
That said, along with Dave’s very inspirational vocals and lively piano playing: the melodic background vocals; timely hand claps; moving rhythm; and smoking horn leads; all provide all the tools you need. (Interesting side note: as the Blewzzlady was proofreading the review, she suggested I heed Dave’s advice)
As long as you’re already out there shaking, keep it going but just take it up a notch on “Blues and Boogie”. This smoker features Jeff and Frank pounding out a powerful rhythm on the bass and drums; rockin’ blues guitar licks from Early Times; heated sax and trumpet leads from Chris and Tim; and on top of his fabulous vocals, a killer mid-song boogie run on piano from Dave.
Dave’s rendition of Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” is unlike any of the other tracks. Deviating from the barrelhouse rockers and dance floor fillers, Dave settles into a very sentimental and emotional mood. This solo effort not only showcases his musical talents but his soulful, wide ranging vocal skills as well. Nicely done!
Should you not be familiar with WBGO, it is a 24/7 public radio station out of Newark, NJ that, in addition to its news and features, spins a whole lot of jazz and blues… I know, I’m also eating my heart out right now. Since the station serves Dave’s stomping grounds – the Metropolitan New York area – his “WBGO Boogie” is nearly a four-minute instrumental tribute containing some of the best damn boogie-woogie piano you’ll ever hear.
Should you prefer to samba, cha-cha, rumba, or whatever kind of Latin dancing it is you do, you’ll want to get those dancing shoes on for this one. Although the lyrics on “Not Fighting Anymore” pertain to that of an unhappy relationship, the rhythm, percussion and horns all scream dance party.
This track was not written by H. G. Wells, and it’s got nothing to do with science fiction. Yes, it is titled “Invisible Man”, but with a modern day twist this story tells a tale of what an old man becomes in the eyes of pretty young girls. It’s a hilarious duet with Dave and Doug MacCleod who are hopefully not speaking any truths. Needless to say, the piano and acoustic guitar work from these two maestros is stellar.
Other tracks on this very well-done release include: “That’s What the Blues Are For”; “Ain’t Doing That No More”; “Ain’t Going Down”; and “7 O’Clock Somewhere”.
To find out more about Dave Keyes, just go to – www.davekeyes.com. Remember, wherever you go and whomever you speak with, please tell them their friend the Blewzzman sent you.
“The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy“
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award Recipient