Monday, August 8, 2011
"Lit Up!" Reviewed by the ToledoBlade
LIT UP Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots (WildRoots Records)
"Lit Up" will light up your senses with 14 original numbers and more than 53 minutes of powerful Memphis blues, heavy on the rock and soul. The sound and approach are both fresh throughout, featuring Wainwright playing some hot piano alongside an earnest, slightly gruff voice born to sing the blues.
The five core members of the band are tight, whether doing backup vocals or stretching their talents on bass, guitar, saxophones, and percussion. They get a boost on some tracks by guest musicians on sax, harmonica, organ, clarinet, trombone, and trumpet.
From the jump blues strains of the opening "Big Dog's Runnin' This Town" to the loping, soulful, clarinet-backed "Dixie Highway," the rocking beat of "Little Ole Shack," the mournful Delta strains of "Pile of Blues," among others, Wainwright and the crew offer something new and exciting in every number.
Wainwright wrote or co-wrote nine of these gems; producer/writer Stephen Dees gets creative credit on 12. These fellows make a great team when it comes to being innovative in a genre that too often sounds repetitive. "Lit Up" is a knockout album that runs the gamut of blues styles with no weaknesses.
-- KEN ROSENBAUM