EB Davis and the Superband: Live at the A-Trane
- Uh Uh Baby
Review by Rob Paullin
Memo to US Festival promoters: Book EB Davis for your next blues fest!
Yeah, Germany. EB Davis has been tightening his tunes in Berlin since putting down roots there in the wake of a European tour with the Drifters many records ago. Some have even said EB Davis brought the blues into the shadows of Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the remnants of the Wall…
Davis first learned the blues in Memphis’ Handy Park, at the feet of masters such as BB and Albert King, and Rufus Thomas, along with others of that Delta break-out era. He traces his roots to the banks of the Mississippi River in rural Arkansas, but with “Uh Uh Baby,” he demonstrates he is just as comfortable in Helsinki as Helena.
Trust me, you’ll like this one. The disk, recorded live at the legendary Berlin jazz and blues venue, “The A-Trane,” is an internationally-flavored mix of lyrical and instrumental diversity that somehow never strays far from the traditional blues and soul on which Davis cut his musical teeth. His latest offering includes four originals intertwined with covers of Willie Dixon, Junior Wells and Allen Toussaint, among others,.
“Uh Uh Baby” starts out with five
straight-ahead blues blasters including the barely double-entendre “Big Mother
For Ya,” his own “Love You Baby;” and his warning shot not to mess with strong,
independent women, “Shack Bully,” along with “The Moon is Full,” and Dixon’s “29
The masterpiece of “Uh Uh Baby” is, uh, well, have you guessed yet? “Uh Uh Baby.” On the title song, Davis sings of love’s lessons learned the hard way and about not again putting his hand on the hot stove burner of love gone bad. The song is punctuated by a saxophone solo from bandmate Willie Pollock, which sends a message almost as powerful as the insightful lyrics. Davis ends his masterpiece tear jerker on an upbeat note—obviously happy with his decision NOT to take her back…..
Also included is James Brown’s “I Can’t Stand Myself.” Only James Brown can do James Brown. Then Davis and the Superband close with an a cappella version of the ‘50’s do-wopper “Good Night Sweetheart,” as they do in their live show.
Hopefully someday soon we’ll get to see ‘em do that live here in the USA! You can sample 3 of the songs on the EB Davis MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/ebyleedavis
Review by Illinois radio and television personality Rob Paullin. Rob more recently served as house announcer at Buddy Guy’s Nightclub in Kyiv, Ukraine, during his Peace Corps years.