King Biscuit Boy is considered by many to be the premier practitioner of blues harmonica in Canada. He has jammed with many great musicians, such as Muddy Waters, Allen Touissant, Dr. John, and John Lee Hooker. Although he has a number of critically acclaimed CDs, this is his first recording in 13 years. His given name is Richard Newell; hence, the CD's title, Urban Blues Re: Newell, both alludes to his own name and his re-emergence on the recording scene. There's little doubt that King Biscuit Boy is a more colorful name for a bluesman than the one his mom and dad gave him. This nickname was given to him by Ronnie Hawkins, with whom the blues harpist played for years. It has served him well in his native Canada, where he is much better known than in the United States. This CD, released in 1995, has garnered a lot of attention and praise. The award-winning recording contains both original material and some blues classics, all done in Biscuit's inimitable style on vocals and harmonica. The album opens with a Newell composition, "Now I'm Good," which sets the tone for the entire CD. The blues are played gritty and intense throughout. Standouts include "Cracked Up Over You," "Too Poor to Die," and "My Love Lies Bleeding." King Biscuit Boy is back.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Rose of Sharon Witmer