After playing as a sideman on albums by artists ranging from artists ranging from bluesmen Lucky Peterson and Kenny Neal to soul singer Rufus Thomas, Ernie Lancaster took center stage with the entirely instrumental Ernestly. Ranging from instrumental blues-rock to jazz-pop and soul-jazz, this little-known, underproduced CD has a bar-band quality and avoids slickness. Much of the time, Ernestly makes you feel like you're in an off-the-beaten-path (but certainly enjoyable) roadhouse in Kansas City, Milwaukee or upstate New York. Next to Lancaster's guitar solos, one of the main reasons to hear this album is the fact that Peterson is prominently featured. Although Peterson is a fine blues singer, he doesn't do any singing at all on Ernestly. Rather, Peterson is heard as an instrumentalist and concentrates mainly on the electric Hammond B-3 organ. As an organist, Peterson draws heavily on the influence of soul-jazz heroes like Jack McDuff and the seminal Jimmy Smith. Although not stunning, Ernestly provides some gritty and unpretentious fun.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson