The Cash Box Kings,
Holler & Stomp
(Blind Pig, 2011)

If you're nostalgic for good, old-time, old school rhythm and blues, the type Chess, Cobra and Vee Jay Records used to put out in the 1940s and '50s, the kind of stuff Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Howling Wolf used to do, look no further: the Cash Box Kings have just made your day. These guys, winners of the 2010 Blues Blast "Sean Costello Rising Star" Award, are in love with the old stuff.

The Cash Box Kings have a stripped-down, basic, down-to-earth sound that they use to put across the type of song that used to float out of jukeboxes in every bar in town. Guitar, blues harp and rhythm section pile it on, build it, grabbing a musical idea firmly rooted in the past and presenting it in a contemporary way, so you can see how timeless and eternal this music is.

In their music, you hear Big Joe Turner and Muddy and Robert Nighthawk and Charley Patton and Son House, but mostly you hear the Cash Box Kings. These guys are roots artists to their very souls, going deep into tradition to make something uniquely their own. Their music is rooted in the past, as is their sound; they deliberately recorded this album on vintage equipment, using the same studio and the same gear that their idols used a long time ago. With the exception of one vocal, guitar and piano overdub, it was all recorded live in the studio, the way albums used to be made before technology changed the game.

You won't hear computer processing on this album. What you will hear is a group of first-rate musicians making wonderful, timeless music.

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

19 November 2011

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