Randy Mcallister

Grease, Grit, Dirt & Spit

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Here's a disc of rock-tinged urban blues, Texas style. In his second album for JSP, songwriter/harmonica player McAllister plays exciting harp in the electrified Little Walter style. His songs are filled with the smell of cigarette smoke and beer, and many of them, even the slow ones, have the hard-driving edge of a band determined to blow off the cares of the working day. They play mainly in the postwar style, with a couple of tunes reflecting the soul influences of the '60s and jump blues of the '40s. McAllister has a voice which can only be described as unique; it has a certain bottom to it that makes it sound like it belongs to a 300-pound man. The leadoff tune, "Eat, Drink and Sleep," has the band doing a humorous line-by-line commentary on his vocals. Lines like "You must have been eating bullets for breakfast, 'cause you've been shooting off you mouth" underscore his humor, while "Duct Tape and Bailing Wire" is a salute to two of his favorite items from the hardware store, which help him hold things together. In "When Does the Good Stuff Happen," he bemoans doing right and having nothing much to show for it. All of this is fleshed out by Mike Morgan and Robin Slyer's guitar work and a tight band playing with rock sensibilities.

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