Kilborn Alley Blues Band

Better off Now

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The Kilborn Alley Blues Band is not a typical Chicago blues band in that they reflect the uptown rather than Southside electric tradition. Fronted by the vocalist and guitarist Andrew Duncanson and working with producer Nick Moss, the KABB have more allegiance to Paul Butterfield or John Mayall than Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf. They lean on blue-eyed soul while also working in a steady rolling manner, occasionally looking back at tradition, and adding updated political observations. Collectively credited with co-writing most of the songs, the band makes an economic statement to the Obama administration on the straight Chi-Town blues "Nothing Left to Stimulate," takes a rough and tough but not outrageous stance during "Train to Memphis," and reflects on after-hours, after-the-gig emptiness in the slower soul song "Tonight." They do cover John Brim's anthem "Tough Time" in a distinct Muddy Waters tone and beat with three guitarists including Moss; they invite guest organ soloists Gerry Hundt or Eric Michaels on select tracks; and non-bandmember Anthony DeCerbo offers up lyrics on three tunes. There's good energy here, not over the top, not naughty or nice, but just the right balance to keep Kilborn Alley's music steaming along down the line.

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