Stoney Curtis Live

Stoney Curtis “Live” Album Review by Scott Thomas 

Well now, what do have here...? Oh yeah, my brother in music Stoney Curtis and his New "Live" Album / DVD from Mike Varney's Blues Bureau International Label. Now this is cool, ya get a CD and DVD in one package for almost the same price as a single album of music. 

The first song coming rumblin’ down the tracks is "Last Train to Chicago". The band starts the tune with a momentous thumping drum and bass-line while Stoney creates this blowing horn sound of the oncoming train with his guitar. The song carries an infectious beat all the while a tour de force of incredible blues rock that screams aloud from the stage. I'm watching the live performance as I write this review. Stoney carries himself well in front of a live audience. It only takes a few bars of the music before being captured by his vibrations. 

On the second tune "Evil Women", vocally Master Curtis has the goods for this type of music. His songs tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. I guess that's what the blues are all about. If you like blues guitar in the style of SRV, then you need to look no further. It's all right here... Down and Dirty!!! 

There is rock edge to these cohesive songs without a doubt. The 3rd song "American Lady" keeps in that up-tempo time as with the first 2 songs all the while tell'n the ladies "it's time to go upstairs and kick off our shoes and play the strutting blues". The band just hammers a way at keeping a perfect cadence. And once again, Stoney's guitar play'n is hot and on fire. “The candy store is now open” he laments...

Next we have up to bat "When the Sweet Turns to Sour". Classic blues vamp here. This song has some pure unadulterated soul to it. Mr. Curtis tells it like it is... "When I'm leaving town, you’re gonna suffer every hour... Mark my words baby... You’ll see what you brought down... When the sweet turns to sour.... Let me play ya some blues man!!!" Then he goes into a tie-raid play'n some incredible blues licks that almost bring the house down. He attacks that fret board like a man with a mission.

Yes indeed, the rest of the CD / DVD will leave your jaw on the floor. I have not seen this much ferocity since the days of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I know that is a big statement and shoes to follow, but I truly mean it. Stoney has got the goods and can deliver leaving you standing in his mystical dust. My brother covers all the blues angles here... The muse is raw high-energy venomous romps, stomps, shuffles, delta rock, and lastly a ballad with his ruminative song “The Letter”. 

One song that stands out is his tune "Behind the Sun". This performance captures up my soul. It's easy to get lost in the purple haze on this one. The tune entices and incites that ol' freak flag to fly high. I hear that early 70's zeal all over it ala Robin Trower.  There is plenty of blues shredding on these relentless tracks. On the DVD, Stoney does this real cool thing by unplugging his guitar cable from the guitar and gets these neat sound effects out of his amps by tapping on and moving the cable-jack around his pick-ups. I love improvisation. First time I've seen this done. What we have here is a power trio of unrestrained heaviness and one fine spacey-riff of a song with a hip message.

Parting shot across the bow: Stoney takes my early musical youth and propels into the present. The word 'classic' comes to mind and this is a great collection of flawless work from a master of his instrument. This is a definite keeper for your guitar oriented blues rock collection. 

Track Listings:

Disc: 1

1. Last Train To Chicago

2. Evil Woman

3. American Lady

4. When The Sweet Turns Sour

5. Headin'For The City

6. Behind The Sun

7. That's Right

8. Blues Without You

9. Eli's Blues

10. The Letter

11. Soul Flower


Disc: 2 (DVD)

1. Last Train To Chicago

2. Evil Woman

3. American Lady

4. When The Sweet Turns Sour

5. Headin'For The City

6. Behind The Sun

7. That's Right

8. Blues Without You

9. Eli's Blues

10. The Letter

11. Soul Flower




Stoney Curtis Live