Pork Chop Willie


Big Sister Productions PCWM002

Thesoundofthe Mississippi hill country from the streets of Manhattan

The blues as a genre of music is elastic, such is it’s elasticity it can incorporate Robert Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and ZZTop inside it. So it is then, that a band with a dreadful name like Pork Chop Willie, can also fit in the boundaries of the behemoth that we call the blues but, at the same time, there can be elements of pop and country that keep it fresh, contemporary and alive.

Love is the Devil has an abundance of blues stylings and it sounds like the band know their way around the format but on the evidence of these 13 tracks there isn’t really much to make the band stand out amongst the plethora of bluesy Americana that emerges on a regular basis. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, they do what they do very well and the band cook up a reasonable bluesy howl on songs like Lonesome Poor, Snake Oil and the title track Too Many Cuts. There’s some tasty slide guitar playing that runs through much of the material here and I’m sure that the band would be an excellent Friday night live band and would have an audience whooping along in any small venue anywhere in the country. The songs here though are fairly ordinary and rarely touch on anything more than the standard bluesy subjects of livin’, lovin’ cheatin’ and a-travelin’.

The majority of the songs are delivered at a jaunty pace that hardly changes and therefore tends to renderthings as a homogenous I ump of fairly average songs. There’s an occasional detour like Falling that brings the eerie fiddle playing to the fore with a nice dobro and a lazy sun soaked vocal with just a hint of menace telling methatthis isa route thatwould be more profitable forthe band. Likewise All Night Long has prominent fiddle and a nice echoey backing vocal that adds some different elements to the mix.

All round this is a solid album that couldn’t be called innovative but trawls the bluesy trench well and makes me thinkthat I’d like to seethe band deliver their bluesy gumbo in a sweaty venue somewhere down the road.

Greg Johnson


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