Amos Garrett glides into the blues like Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour put the satin in smooth rock. As sessionmen, they're all non-pareils, and, when ya need it done right, ya call in the experts. He's appeared on a hellish amount of sides and has been a member of Great Speckled Bird and Butterfield's Better Days, not to mention touring with Elvin Bishop and Maria Muldaur (that's him soloing on the mega-hit Midnight at the Oasis). His guitar work is elegant and supple here but the surprise will be his voice, which evidences the knowledgeable and world-weary pipes of cat who's been there and back and has the scars to show it. Garrett's phrasing is unusual in that it blends Dr. John, a less prehistoric Tom Waits, Mose Allison caught in gator jaws, and a couple of others I can't quite put my finger on.
Percy Mayfield was to Amos Garrett what Mance Lipscomb was to Bernie Pearl, an influence so thorough and gritty that it's practically genetic. Get Way Back is St. Louis blues, Mayfield's signature soul laced deeply within, and when Garrett hits that popping, elastic, tweeding solo in Never Say Naw…oh man, there just aren't words. You'll hear some Steve Cropper in certain arrangements (To Claim It's Love) as well as slow and ginsoaked slides beside moonlit bayou mangroves cooling down from a sweltering day. The septet here is spot-on as a grooving backing unit cut straight from the 50s, two-tone spats shining in the neon, D.A.s slicked back, pencil-thin moustaches leering at the audience.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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