Cleveland Fats

Other Side of Midnight

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Mark Hahn (Cleveland Fats) is the long-time rhythm guitarist behind legendary bluesman Robert Jr. Lockwood. Fats was a mainstay of Lockwood's Cleveland-based combo, recording and touring with him for over 17 years. Now flying solo and fronting his own combo, Fats steps up to the plate with an impressive debut album of his own. Although his former boss is referenced in his playing, Fats' talents shine in enough areas to keep this album from merely being a Lockwood homage. Two originals in particular stand out, the bouncy "My Past Life" and "I Wanna Know." The jump blues side of the equation is nicely spotlighted on the old chestnuts "Hey Bop-A-Ree-Bop" and Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like a Woman." Fats' playing is strongly rooted in 1950s Chicago-blues styles and his solo work is pithy and straight-to-the-heart. A great little debut album from a strong player with chops galore.

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