Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This is not the first time reviewing material from Sunday Wilde. I had the honor of being one of the first reviewers of her last album, Blueberries & Grits. That was more of a solo project. This album features Reno Jack in a more prominent role, more of a collaboration. He is the perfect vocal complement to Sunday. While Sunday sings a majority of the songs on this collection, Reno Jack fronts two of the songs, which are done to perfection.
The musicianship on this album is absolutely top notch. It is so good, the players deserve some acknowledgement. Let’s meet the band, there is: Sunday Wilde – piano & vocals; Reno Jack – bass & vocals; Cleave Anderson – drums; Steve Koch – guitar; and, John MacLeod – guitar & harmonica. This is such a professional job on playing, recording, and mixing. I listen to an album for any perceived flaws and I really couldn’t come up with any.
Moonlight Rising (Track 4) is one of those truly brilliant tracks. It is part surf, part haunted house, and part psychedelic. The result is a song that will be put on repeat. Reno’s voice is deep, raspy, and low, the perfect complement to the music. This song is dark and a little on the melancholy side. I think those qualities add to the beauty of this tune. It is sad , yet oh so infectious.
Back Lane Man (Track 6) is one of the original compositions on this album written by Sunday. This is a pure blues masterpiece full of great playing and conjuring up images of a smoky bar where the real drinkers hang out. You know the kind, whiskey and beer chaser types. These folks don’t fool around when it comes to their booze or their music. And Sunday Wilde and Reno Jack pass the blues test with some blues to spare.
The other original is No Matter How Far (Track 8) and it has the makings of a masterpiece. The piano and Sunday’s voice give this song instant credibility. This song is just as much country as it is blues. It is so full of soul it is spilling over the sides. Another song that will go on perpetual repeat. This is one of those where only a WOW will suffice. WOW!
This is a fantastic album that has to be part of the collection of any serious blues aficionado. Sunday and Reno are the real thing when it comes to male/female duos (and also on their own). They complement each other like the greats: peanut butter and jelly and fish and chips. A blues library without this album will be incomplete.