Blind Lemon Peel review. April 9, 2016
The Nashville Blues Society
Blind Lemon Peel is the alter-ego of vocalist David Hale, and the band also features Steve Burgh on guitars, Joel Diamond on keys, Hugh McDonald on bass, and Richard Crooks on drums. To describe their sound, you gotta think outta the box. Add in some funk from James Brown and Johnny Guitar Watson, some country-fied blues from Elvin Bishop, the humor and vocal delivery of Rick Estrin, and, shall we say, the irreverence of Wynonie Harris, and you’ll get a fairly good idea of what’s going on in the ten cuts that comprise “Don’t Tear My Clothes.” One thing is for sure—it’s a stone party from the git-go!
Peel plays the slacker part to the hilt on the leadoff cut, wanting to “live the life of ease, and Wear What I Please,” built around a sweet midtempo groove with Joel offering up a fine N’Awlins-style piano solo. Peel name-checks just ’bout every breed of dog on a cool cover of Elvin’s “My Dog,” who “don’t chase chickens, cats, or other women!” A good slow-blues is the story of a lover with a few screws loose, who gives our hero “No Time Off (For Good Behavior),” because “she wants me when I want her, and even when I don’t!” Speaking of slow-blues, the title cut is as good as it gets, with Steve’s lead lines gettin’ down ‘n’ dirty, while the females in the backing chorus really have a good time with this one, too!
Peel has some “divorce issues” with an ex in the swingin’ stop-time boogie woogie of “Marry My Money again,” and closes the set with the ultimate kiss-off to all his naysayers, “!!!! Everybody,” and, trust us, it is NOT for the faint of heart or conservatives!
Our favorites were easy. Mark Granville’s harp over Steve’s deep slide give a Delta-fied vibe to Peel’s declaration that he’s “The Boogie Man Of Love!” And, you can’t deny the danceable groove of “Shake Your Love Thang,” with a cool “Saturday Night Fish Fry” stamp on it! Blind Lemon Peel and “Don’t Tear My Clothes” keeps things fun, funky, and real. Infectious grooves, good slow-bluesers and a party attitude make this one not to be missed! Until next time…The Nashville Blues Society.
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Blind Lemon Peel Blues All-Stars - Don't Tear My Cloth
If you're not out on the dance floor moving to the groove of "Shake Your Love Thang" it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll be raising your beer glass in salute to those who are while you sing along to the anthemic chorus that features a fun repetition of the song title.
Making the song even more fun to sing along with is the fact that Blind Lemon Peel has a voice that recalls Dr. John, and here he sings a bit maniacally while advising his woman to shake her love thang. And no doubt she will. "Wear What I Please," performed as bouncy sweet southern soul is more restrained, and "Boogie Man of Love" is a simmering, Muddy Waters-style slow blues jam where Blind Lemon Peel drawls out some words delightfully, to the point where it sounds like a bullfrog croaking the blues.
Obviously the vocals are what make this set unique, and whether he's singing the lively and self-explanatory "I'm So Horney" or about having to be careful while indulging an infidelity on the horn augmented title cut, Blind Lemon Peel's singing is like nothing that's come down the pike for a while. Some will see this effort as a bit too shticky but those who feel otherwise will be absolutely tickled.