Nick Gravenites

Kill My Brain

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If you grew up with and loved the blues of the Chicago area and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the Electric Flag, don't even pause to think, just run right out and grab this one. Gravenites was one of the driving forces in both of those bands. Here he is joined by a bunch of good friends that share a similar love of that music to play to their hearts content. (There is even a redoing of a Dino Valenti song at the end of one of his songs that will bring back that time to those of you who can remember.) For those that can't remember or don't go back that far, it is a great song. This is music from the gritty streets of the south side of Chicago, as played by someone who grew up in those streets listening to and absorbing the music that was all around him. This disc has all the ingredients that made that music so distinct and special. There is the tortured guitar, the driving beat that stabilizes everything, the horns for special emphasis, and the vocals that come from the heart after seeing life on these streets for so long. Gravenites's gritty voice sings lead on all the cuts and he is joined by Sammy Hagar on two cuts and has Annie Sampson, Jennifer Hall, Dalice, and Jeanette Sartain providing the solid backing vocals to highlight his voice. The tight beat is provided by Roy Blumenfeld of the Blues Project on drums and Doug Killmer, who played with John Cippolina and Dr. John, on bass. Pete Sears, from the Airplane, does the keyboards and piano. Huey Lewis stops in to lend a helping harp on "Bad Talking Blues and I'm Gone." There are no credits on songwriting but these sound so much like the tunes Gravenites wrote both for the Butterfield Blues Band and the Electric Flag. Solid Chicago blues with the tight horns, how can you go wrong?

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