The three siblings in Trampled Under Foot -- Danielle Schnebelen, lead vocals and bass; guitarist and vocalist Nick Schnebelen, and singer/drummer Kris Schnebelen -- are the children of blues musicians Bob & Lisa Schnebelen. The folks never made it big outside of their hometown of Kansas City, but their kids have been tearing up the scene since they started playing together in 2006. Regular gigs around their hometown started the buzz that intensified when they took first place at the Blues Foundations International Blues Challenge in 2008. Nick took home The Albert King Award for most promising guitarist that same year, which led to headlining shows at festivals all over the U.S. and Europe. Unlike a lot of young blues players, Trampled Under Foot stick pretty much to their roots here; they're a blues band, not a rock band playing blues. There isn't a weak track here, but several tunes stand out. The gritty shuffle of "Get It Straight" has Danielle delivering a bold, forceful vocal with Nick's guitar flipping between nasty slide guitar fills and short, stinging bent-note solos. Nick supplies a haunted vocal on "Evil Train," a dark, cinematic tune with a touch of spaghetti western twang added to the guitar and a slight country feel to the overall arrangement. Danielle's intense Etta James-style testifying adds to the heartbroken feel of "It Would Be Nice," which features another great solo from Nick and Mike Finnegan's soulful Hammond B-3. "Goodbye" uses a late-night '50s R&B progression to showcase Danielle's soaring vocal and Finnegan's indigo organ work. The band churns out a heavy boogie groove on "Have a Real Good Time," with the help of Finnegan's B-3 and piano. The tune brings the early work of Ike & Tina Turner, to mind with Danielle over the top vocal. The siblings get funky on "Just Tell Yourself," with another solid vocal from Danielle and grittier guitar work from Nick. Producer Tony Braunagel allows every instrument and vocal to shine through with a minimal touch that keeps everything sounding down-home and nasty.
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AllMusic Review by j. poet