Listening to music intensely for over thirty years starts to have its effect on this guy. I must confess that many new blues releases sometimes make me sleep and listen at the same time. The earphones are the only things that prevent me from tumbling into a deep siesta.

Therefore, I announce with great pleasure, that I was delighted to find the debut album 'High Tide' from the East River Blues Band on my doormat. The four-person band from New York City has certainly created one of the best blues releases I have heard in the last few months. Singer, front man, and composer of most songs Dan Cumberland, bass player Bill Acosta, guitarist Ken Hughes and Tom Brumley on harmonicas form a steady base for guest appearances by Bill Mobley (trumpet), Dennis McDermott (drums), Gary Topper (saxophones), and David Bennett Cohen (piano).

Their play is more than inspired and it gives the band its own trademark sound. From the opening song 'Closing Time' (a swinging shuffle) to the final 'Fionašs Shuffle' the listener gets treated to a varied and energetic album. It sounds as if you are listening to unreleased music of The Red Devils. The band wrote ten out of the twelve songs, mostly by Cumberland/Hughes, two songs are beautiful covers of Walter Jacobs and Arthur Blake. Apart from the latter two cover songs, we also hear very good and exciting original Blues, influenced by Classic Chicago, Jazz, Jump, Delta and Piedmont styles. With their debut 'High Tide' the East River Blues Band has truly produced a veritable little masterpiece. You would be lucky to have the opportunity to hear them in an intimate setting.

By Fred Celis Wanted Productions
Andre Dekker translation
ROOTSTIME cd reviews
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