Size: 121,9 MB
Label: 66 Records
1. Avenue 54 - 4:01
2. I Feel So Bad - 7:01
3. Watch Out - 2:53
4. Woke Up This Morning - 4:09
5. Third Degree - 6:03
6. Driving Wheel - 3:05
7. Looking For Somebody - 3:19
8. Last Night - 5:32
9. Hard Times - 3:58
10. Like A Road - 5:31
11. Wash Out - 4:08
Mick Pini - vocals, guitar, harp;
Julian Grudgings - vocals, keyboards;
Roger Innes - bass;
Paul Barnes - drums.
Mick's long awaited CD has been released in good time for his 1999 British tour. Mick appeared regularly at venues in the East Midlands until he moved to Germany a couple of years ago, now audiences don't get the opportunity to see this underrated guitar master in action very often, more's the pity!
The CD opens with the instrumental warm-up track 'Avenue 54', featuring Julian Grudgings' hammond organ backing Mick's first guitar workout which draws to a close with the mournful guitar solo leading deftly into the band's version of Chuck Willis's 'I Feel So Bad'. Mick's bluesy vocals are complimented by his superb guitar work throughout, as well as the sensitive bass work of Graham Lacey.
Mick began his musical career around the same period as Peter Green, & his playing is at times similar to the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist's, this CD features two Peter Green songs, the third track 'Watch Out' being the first. The band's version of this classic is slower than the original, the pounding drums are more laid back here too. Now's probably a good time to mention that Mike Vernon who produced the Fleetwood Mac albums from which 'Watch Out' came has also produced this album some 30 years on, & guested on percussion.
Mick's music is very much in the mould of the blues , despite the 'Wildman' nickname you won't find him thrashing out blues rock, as the title of this album suggests blues gonna be Mick's way ! He follows the Peter Green song with B.B. King's 'Woke Up This Morning'
There's a marked charge in tempo for 'Third Degree', soft piano & quietly played guitar provides a solemn background for a song about accusations - the suspect seems resigned to his fate, the third degree tactics claim another innocent man! The song showcases Mick's ability not only play flamboyant guitar solos that leave his audiences breathless, but to play those sensitive pieces that have people reaching for their pints! Surely the original Eddie Boyd / Willie Dixon version could have been no more haunting than this, just savour that guitar!
There's a cover of Roosevelt Sykes 'Driving Wheel' the abrupt ending comes a bit of a surprise. This is followed by the second Peter Green song 'Looking For Somebody' the title of the CD comes from a line in this song. Mick's vocals lend themselves especially to this style of blues & here especially his guitar playing is remarkably similar too!
'Last Night' is an interesting diversion, featuring some evocative harmonica work from an unnamed harp player, this Little Walter song adds to the solemn atmosphere of the CD's mood. Blues is most definitely Mick's way , if you enjoy the blues as the blues , this is the album for you,
Mick's own song 'Hard Times' follows, Mike Hellier's fine drumming provides the lively beat, the song seems to cast off the impending difficulties that are relayed in the lyrics.
'Like A Road' has a gospel feel, 'turn around, I'll be there, like a road leading home' the hard times, the sad times, the blues will soon be behind you, an uplifting song. There's some fine slide guitar work from special guest Al Sansome & this is followed by Mick's soulful guitar. Written by Dan Penn & Don Nix, Penn is better known for songs such as 'I'm Your Puppet' a hit for James & Bobby Purify & 'Do Right Woman' (Aretha Franklin), whilst Don Nix was a member of The Markeys who backed Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett & Sam & Dave. Seemingly a surprising choice for a Mick Pini Band album but one that works remarkably well!
As we started so we close, with an instrumental, Freddie King & Sonny Thompson's 'Wash Out'. Here the spirit & the guitar flies, & that's what the blues is about, OK times may be sad, but through the blues the spirit will soar once more. For those not touched by the blues , this point is often missed, the blues reflects life, but no-one wants to be unhappy all the time, the blues music came from people living in a harsh background, but Saturday nights they wanted to Boogie!
As always, Mick & the band are in great form on this album, which is only the band's fourth in 10 years, catch them in action at a venue near you during September (see Fizgig Blues listings for details), 'Blues Gonna Be My Way ' will be available at gigs, but if you can't make any of these dates you can purchase a copy from Blumberg Records, 63 Priest Meadow, Fleckney, Leicester. LE 8 8 TZ, cheques for £13.50 made payable to Blumberg Records.
Blues Gonna Be My Way