A Band Not To Be Forgotten
peter krampert | eharmonica.net | 01/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every so often a band comes along that shines brightly, then disappears with little trace. Big Shoulders was a Chicago-based band from the 1980's who's brief time in the limelight was nothing short of amazing. This CD is an absolute classic.Combining Rock, Jazz and other influences, Big Shoulders effortlessly combined many divergent styles into a sound that was both original and gripping. Harmonica player Ron Sorin's style is one that shows that he did a lot of listening to his predesessors, yet didn't fall into the trap of trying to copy them. The rest of the band is no less talented and tasteful.I strongly urge anyone to give this album a listen...it's that good."
A Roots Rock Desert Island Disc
Michael Strom | Chicago, IL USA | 04/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I consider a "desert island disc" one good enough to make the cut if I could only take ten. This one would make the cut even if I was limited to three. This CD is an amazing synthesis of straight-ahead rock, roadhouse blues, New Orleans piano, with bits of jazz & country thrown into the stew. It all works, & it doesn't sound like someone keeps changing the station on your car radio. The band is tight & tough, but with plenty of heart. The anchor of Big Shoulders is the songwriting, keyboards & singing of Ken Saydak. Saydak spent many years in the Chicago & New Orleans blues bands of such folks as Lonnie Brooks and Mighty Joe Young. Saydak plays piano, organ & an occasional accordian, ranging from the pounding 12-bar basics of "Boys, Girls & Money,", the chugging rock of "Talk To Me," some rustic accordian in "Plain Folks," to the Professor Longhair-ish rhumba boogie of "I Need Your Help." Ron Sorin's harp is equally comfortable in the blues bar or the barnyard, depending on the song. Guitarist Larry Clyman plays some lead, some rhythm, and contributed the astounding title cut, which sounds like an unlikely summit meeting in which Pat Metheny and Junior Wells meet each other (musically) halfway. It takes a great rhythm section to pull this off, & Big Shoulders comes fully equipped.The songs (all originals by the band, with the exception of the heretofore unknown "Plain Folks") are great. You won't be disappointed."