By, Tom Baldino
Nosy Neighbors is the new collection of songs by the current JSJBF International Blues Competition representatives, Paul Boddy & the Slidewinder Blues Band. Of the twelve songs here, ten are originals with two well-chosen covers. The lineup consists of the core band, Paul Boddy on guitar and vocals, Glen Hale on keys, Chuck Hearne on bass and Dave Hollingsworth on drums. Jeannie and Carol Brooks handle the background vocals, while the horn section features Jay Davidson on Sax, Steve Jankowski on trumpet and Ian Grey on Trombone.
They kick it into high gear with the opening track, the Paul Boddy original, “Baby Let’s Try Again.” It opens with some slide guitar reminiscent of Elmore James, then Glen’s barrelhouse piano joins in as Paul pleads to his lover that he doesn’t want to fight over past sins and wants to “try again.” It’s short but sweet, at just over 2 and a half minutes but a great start to a solid twelve song set. Next up, Paul’s “Bells & Whistles,” kicks off with a great groove laid down by the rhythm section, Chuck on bass and Dave on drums. They are joined by the horn section which really gets this track cooking. With Glen’s chugging organ solo featured midway through and Paul’s wah-wah guitar solo at the finish, the abrupt ending leaves you wanting more. Another of Paul’s compositions, “Blues is Company,” is a rocking blues tune with Jeannie and Carol sounding like a full choir on a song with a mean slide that Johnny Winter could have recorded. With Leon Russell’s biography just hitting the shelves, Paul reaches back to cover “Delta Lady” and he pulls it off with a rendition that has the spirit of the original, but this band puts their stamp on it. They slow it down a bit with the self-penned “Hanky Panky Blues” which features Paul’s smooth vocals and stinging slide work. That is followed up with a funky version of Tampa Red’s “Hurts Me Too” that features a nice organ solo followed by a nice slide solo by Paul and some call and response with the choir. “Jam It In” is another original that features some killer horn charts, and the choir singing along on the refrain to great effect. Paul’s production is readily evident on the cut with everything going on in this song; it doesn’t sound over the top, but blended to perfection. Paul’s “Milk & Cookies” harkens back to his grade school days with a swinging tribute to his childhood. The title cut, “Nosy Neighbors,” thanks God for those neighbors who see everything his cheatin’ wife does. Not what I expected by the title, but a good story set to some great music. “Right Way Up” is another fine up tempo number by Paul with the band and choir blending their talents on a track that seems like it’s over much too soon. The penultimate tune, keyboard wizard Glen Hales’s “Trash Can Head,” is a NOLA inspired piano jaunt that is the longest track of the collection, clocking in at over six minutes. The song sounds like it was born out of a studio jam with the girls making the title, which are the only lyrics, sound much better than the picture in my head! Dave gets to do some really nice drum fills with Paul using some effects on his guitar to give it more of a Hawaiian sound. The closer, “Trouble Finds Me,” also penned by Paul, is a mid tempo blues with some stellar piano and his signature slide on a tasty closer. Al Kooper once said playing the blues is so comfortable, it’s like having your pajamas on. Well after listening to these tunes, I felt like I had my pajamas on!
The songs go on live streaming April 7th and are available now for purchase at https://slidewinderbluesband.com/product/879341.