Tas Cru: Memphis Song Review

Having never been to Memphis, I guess it’s difficult to define the music from there. But as Memphis is in the title of this CD, it is clearly  a  source of inspiration for Cru. The rest of his band, including Bob Purdy on bass, Dick Earl Ericksen on harmonica, Andy Rudy on piano, and Guy Nirelli on organ, are equally committed to putting forward some sincere and no-nonsense blues for the people. Cru grew up influenced by the music produced at Sun Records and he has transferred that seamlessly into his songwriting. Memphis Song brings us a dozen original songs that touch on nearly every genre associated with the city.

“Heal My Soul” is a raucous opener with a nod to Gospel. The band is tight with the combination of Cru’s guitar and Dick Earl Ericksen’s down home harmonica is spot on. The hairs stood up on my neck for the title track, with award winning Victor Wainwright, Pat Harrington and Mary Ann Casale guesting on piano and slide guitar and acoustic guitar/backing vocals respectively. “Give a Little Up” features Casale and Cru sharing the lead vocals with Ericksen blowing harp for some interesting punctuation to their vocals; good bit of funk going on here. “One  Eyed Jack” continues the funk theme, along with some dirty harp and organ complementing  Cru’s impassioned vocals. “Queen of Hearts” is a slow-walking and sultry lament. Clocking in a shade over six minutes, the song’s feel develops into a slow jam and has Cru at his most deliberate and tasteful. The shimmy comes back, in the form of fat and thick organ tone  on “Don’t Lie to that Woman” where Cru shares another bad boy story about a girl better than he deserves. “Don’t Lie to That Woman” is a jazzy and mid-tempo swing cut with some well done acoustic guitar finger picking. There’s a great vibe going on, a great foot tapper. The album closes strong with two superb shuffle blues tracks, “Feel So Good” and  “Can’t Get Over The Blues” a reminder, if needed, of what a great band you’ve been listening to.

In conclusion, Memphis Song is a great CD from seasoned musicians, knowing not to over elaborate with just the right amount of playing. Certainly gives me the urge to visit Memphis!

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Heal My Soul
– Memphis Song
– Have A Drink
– Queen Of Hearts
– I Feel So Good

The Big Hit

– Heal My Soul

Review by Clive Rawlings

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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