David Maxwell and Friends
(95 North – 2005)
by Matt Robinson
The first line of the Blues is repeated a second time.
I said the first line of the Blues is repeated a second time.
And yet, in that limited oeuvre, some artists are able to make their mark.
One such artist is David Maxwell.
On his latest album, the long-time local legend is able to call upon not only years of personal experience, but also a bevy of similarly lauded friends (which is NOT in quotes because the sense of camaraderie on this album is so authentic), among whom are such Blue stars as the Fabulous Kim Wilson, the regal Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl and über-legend Pinetop Perkins (who is tributed in a special and heartfelt closing duet). Maxwell even enlists award-winning writer Ted Drozdowski to scribe the brief but informative liner notes which rightfully site “Max Attack” as “a true Blues album.”
From the traditional riffs of “Thanks for All the Women” to the yummy booty-shaker “Sticky Buns” and the sweet and low down “What’s the Use of a Broken Heart” to the cleverly innuendoed “Long Distance Driver” and “Handyman” (which include lines like “I’m headed down your highway, Baby / Headed into you”) to the barroom stride of “Twisted Tendons” to the synthetic Stax sounds of the title track, Maxwell runs the gamut of Blues-related grooves, all with a calculated sloppiness that make you feel as if you had just plunked down on the bench next to him to watch the Max-ster at work. And when his flying fingers aren’t captivating ears, his husky throaty vocals are drawing them in.
No wonder Maxwell has so many devoted friends!
David Maxwell will perform at Regattabar May 27 at 7:30 and 10. For tickets, call 617 395 7757 or go to regattabarjazz.com.
C. 2006 M. S. Robinson ARR