David Hidalgo, Mato Nanji, and Luther Dickinson - " 3 Skulls and the Truth"
by Scott Thomas
Genres: Blues, Rock
Released: Sept., 2012
Record Label: Blues Bureau Int’l
I'm sitting here listening to another fine production from the Blues Bureau Label, and what a cool collaboration it is...
As I'm nicely grooving to the first tune "Have My Way With You", all the while I'm check'n out the Album's colorful native-American cover art. And, the rest of cover’s layout is for once easy to read with bolded lettering for the half-blind like me.
Between the music and the CD's collaborations info, one can't help but get lost in both. The album's producer Mike Varney has a keen ear for great guitar oriented music and understand the values of making great records. Nothing is spared here. This is top-notch musicianship, songwriting, and sound all in one nice package. Check out the line up just incase the names don't ring a bell right off; David Hidalgo ( Los Lobos ) Mato Nanji ( Indigenous ) Luther Dickinson ( North Mississippi Allstars/Black Crowes ).
David Hidalgo, Luther Dickinson and Mato Nanji met as featured artists on The Experience Hendrix tour, which has been famous for bringing together legendary guitarists such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang and others to pay homage in song to guitar icon Jimi Hendrix.
The Song "Make it Right" will have you throw'n your fist in the air in no time at all... So hold on and let your freak flag fly. Do I hear radio play ???
Here's another jam that's got a grip on me called "Known Round Here"... These katz belong on "Austin City Limits" without any doubt. They have true flavor to their music. And yes, there is the Jimi Hendrix vibe...
The tune "Coming Home" has that ZZ-Top southern-rock swing to it. The guitar playing, and vocal harmonies are right on the money. The bass playing by Jeff Martin is tight all the while keeping the bottom-end pulsating right along to the dynamic drumming of Steve Evans. These two very talented musician are as solid as a rock... "Rock Music" that is !!!
With nearly 25 Los Lobos records to his credit, as well as collaborations on recordings by artists as diverse as Crowded House, John Lee Hooker, Roy Orbison, Tom Waits, Gov't Mule, and Bob Dylan, frontman David Hidalgo is both one of the most respected and eclectic musicians in the music business today.
Mato Nanji, longtime frontman of Native American band Indigenous, released his 8th CD earlier this year which went top five on the iTune blues chart both in the USA and in Europe and made Amazon.com’s top 40 best selling blues CD’s in the states.
Still in his 30’s, grammy-nominated guitar master Luther Dickinson has had a very impressive career to date, having recorded more than a dozen records fronting the group, The North Mississippi Allstars, as well as three records with the Black Crowes and collaborations with Billy Lee Riley, Robert Randolph, John Hiatt and many others.
Now, I'm sit'n here listen to track 8 "Still Looking"... The songwriting is mesmerizing and it is really easy to want to sing along even though I still haven't properly learned the words. Yeah, that's right... There is a whole other dictionary for those "almost sounds like" the word... It's called the "It almost sounds like that Word Dictionary".
1. Have My Way With You
2. Gonna Be Alright
3. Make It Right
4. Mississippi Clean
5. All I know
6. Between The Worldly And The Devine
7. Still Looking
8. Cold as hell
9. I'm coming home
10. Truth Ain't What It Seems
11. Woke Up Alone
12. Natural comb
The Blues Bureau label has developed a strong following for its superior blues rock recordings. David Hidalgo, Luther Dickinson and Mato Nanji are right at home as a member of Blues rich legacy that includes artists such blues/rock legends as Rick Derringer, Chris Duarte, Eric Gales, Pat Travers, Indigenous and Leslie West among others.
This is a rare once in a lifetime collaboration of three frontmen who have each amassed a loyal following for their respective groups. Each artist is on tour this year with their own groups and anticipation among blues rock fans for this powerful collaboration is great.
The rest of this CD just keeps getting better with each new song reaching my ears and soul. The song "Cold as Hell" takes me places for sure. "The Truth It Ain't What It Seems" has that Allman Brothers, Little Feat vibe going on... I can say this is one tight upbeat number right here. The lyrics hit home w/ today's matrix too. The album ends w/ the Hendrix inspired romp "Natural Comb". Like I said, this CD is full of some of the best blues rock guitar out there today.
Parting Shot Across The Bow: Hippy, Trippy, Blues Rock Guitar Oriented Music w/ all the eclectic qualities to make one more fine Album from Mike Varney and his Blues Bureau International Record Label. One of my favorite tunes is " Between The Worldly And The Devine".