Phantom Blues Band

Out of the Shadows

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The Phantom Blues Band were originally brought together to back Taj Mahal on his 1993 album Dancing the Blues. After 13 years of occasional tours both with and without Mahal, the group finally debuted on its own with Out of the Shadows, a genial set of blues-rock workouts. The heart of the seven-player band is the combo of organist Mike Finnigan and lead guitarist Johnny Lee Schell, who trade vocals and solos throughout Out of the Shadows; Austin saxophone legend Joe Sublett makes his presence felt as well. The 15 tracks feature a few pleasant band originals, but most of the set list consists of Chicago blues and R&B standards like Lowell Fulson's "My Aching Back" and a grooving take on Chuck Berry's "Havana Moon." Solid, unpretentious blues-rock like this only appeals to a relatively small audience these days, but that audience will love the Phantom Blues Band.

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