S.J.K's best ever CD.
P.J. Le Faucheur | Canada (ex- U.K. resident) | 10/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This debut CD of Smoking Joe Kubek is far & beyond essential if you are a fan of his. Although the repertoire features a set of covers originally done by artists such as Howling Wolf, Jimmy Reed, The Three Kings, Otis Rush, T Bone Walker etc S.J.K. & Benois King handle them expertly and Smokin' Joe's Strat has never sounded better. He keeps the tension and excitement throughout the whole album. It's very raw and extremely funky Texas Blues. The backing band has never sounded as good on their other CD's.
The vocals are typically handled by Benois King and his guitar work is of a very high standard also. The first track "Little Wheel" sets the mood. There's an outstanding 5 minute version of Otis Rushs slow blues' "Right Place, Wrong Time" and also an intense version of Freddie Kings instrumental hit "Hideaway".(with a nod more in the direction towards Freddies version rather than Eric Claptons).
For those who are interested the tracks are..."Little Wheel"/I Aint Superstitious"/Right Place, Wrong Time"/ "T.Bone Shuffle"/"Buzz Me Baby"/"Back Door Man"/"C.C. Baby"/ "Goin' to New York"/"Same Thang"/"4 O'Clock Blues"/"Hideaway"/"Cross Cut Saw".---The band seemed eager and hungry to get a break at this early point in their career and the anticipatory feeling of what was to come is evident.
What really pleases me is Joe Kubek varies his guitar tone colours quite abit sometimes several times during one song which is rare. This skilful feature adds new dimensions to an otherwise standard blues sequence.
SJK is far from being a predictable blues musician and has mastered the famous Jimi Hendrix sliding double stop that he executes during a slow blues. He uses it here on "Right Place". He also is very tasteful and never overuses a riff or indeed effect pedals.
Try and obtain this one if at all possible. Hopefully they might re-release it. For me, this CD and Joes others "Chainsmokin" & "Stepping Out" are by far his best ever."