Chris James / Patrick Rynn

Gonna Boogie Anyway

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Chris James and Patrick Rynn have become a premier blues tandem over several decades. Even though only recognized universally in the 2000s, they're really hitting their stride on this 2010 release with a full-blown band that fully exposes just how talented they are. Help from pianists David Maxwell or Henry Gray, a strong sense of tradition, and energy to burn are the hallmarks for the James/Rynn combo to cut loose and play the electric blues they love. Authenticity is the key to the James/Rynn express, as they steamroll through covers written by Ellis McDaniels, Jimmy Reed, Robert Jr. Lockwood, old-school rock à la Chuck Berry, "Tequila"-type twang, steady rolling boogie, and some of their expected guitar/bass duets. The title track, "Life Couldn't Be Sweeter" and "H.M. Stomp" are prototypical good-time songs, with the legendary Gray fueling the fire as only he can. Then again, Maxwell has his own inimitable way of stoking the barrelhouse fires, as on "The Tables Have Turned" a straight boogie with a potent horn section appearing occasionally, as do harmonicists Bob Corritore or Rob Stone, guitarist Jeff Stone, and on two tracks, the legendary drummer Sam Lay. Unreserved and cut loose, James and Rynn are potent, and come close to their potential on this fine example of Chicago blues brought into the uptown landscape of today.

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