Grady Champion

Grady Champion

GSM Music Group, LLC

By Elliott Morehardt
August 2011

Just when the blues scene is gasping for a breath of authenticity, along comes "Mississippi's Own" Grady Champion, the "2010 International Blues Competition Winner." This former boxer has staked his ground with this new CD Dreamin’ and doesn't let us forget it. His awards, birthright, and his proclamation of the "new generation of blues" are proudly displayed throughout the jewel case.

Grady starts off on a high-energy note with “My Rooster is King.” Strong vocals are the highlight despite masturbatory repetition and an R&B drum track. “My Rooster is King” has a decent hook but I'm hoping for more true-Mississippi flavor as advertised. Well, the first song turns out to be the high point, because the drum machine just gets tinnier, and the songs just get cheesier. Some new "soul" is interjected here and there into this more Chi-Town than Delta (town) CD. The commercial blues reach their sappy climax on the ironically titled “Thank You for Giving Me the Blues.” Sounding like a hit off the Blues Brothers soundtrack, this is what I expect to hear at my local suburban bar ... convincing flailing ‘80s-hair chicks that they can now testify the Blues!

Ok, this isn't my cup of tea and certainly not my shot of bourbon, but Champion needs to be called out on this if he’s going to tout his cred so much. Winning the blues version of American Idol or being born in Mississippi does not make for a true-blues resume. Dreamin’ is commercial grade Chicago style party blues, and if that's your style, this CD won't disappoint.

Maybe happy-happy-joy-joy is where the "new generation of blues" will end up but "Mississippi’s own" Grady Champion should first try and explain this to the men and women on whose shoulders he rests.

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