Below is a CD review of StoneCrazy's self-titled album by Gary Tate of LivinBlues.com. For the original article, click here.
LivinBlues CD Reviews by Gary Tate - Blues Got Me StoneCrazy!
StoneCrazy is a contemporary Blues band from Boston, the nucleus being brothers Babe (vocals, harmonica) and Ken (lead guitar) Pino, erstwhile known as the Babe Pino Blues Band. Its latest incarnation StoneCrazy also features the veteran rhythm section of Danny Klein (bass), founding member of the J.Geils Band, and Mark Hylander (drums). With added clout from Seth Justman's tasty keyboards, and produced by J.Geils himself, StoneCrazy aptly juggles varied influences with flair and style. Most of the covers are culled from the pens of several Blues greats the guys have toured with. The material is BOSS!
Ken Pino held second guitar duties during a 10-year stint with Johnny 'Clyde' Copeland. Enough said! That the 4 Clyde covers contribute so much lifeblood is no mystery, given Copeland's reputation for passionate soul testifying, heart-stopping lyrics, and "take-no-prisoner" axework. Case in point: Babe pulls out all the vocal and harmonica stops on 'Cut Off My Right Arm', squeezing every ounce of emotion inherent in this barn-burner. JC's memory is honored repeatedly, as 'Blues Ain't Nothin', 'Born All Over', and 'Nobody But You' are totally steeped in intensity. The funkiest, grooviest, and catchiest number is easily Sir Mack Rice's soulful 'Love Sickness'. StoneCrazy tautly combines the contemporary and the conventional in their hard-driving Blues blend. This assured mixture of the modern and traditional is especially evident on Otis Rush's 'Homework'. Mark it an A+! The originals are rock-solid too. 'Fooled Myself' is as "in-the-pocket" as a cleared pool table. 'Mr. Blue' is a melodically engaging rumba, with an an obvious nod toward Santana thanks to Ken's slinky guitar. Highly recommended.