Randy McAllister

Randy McAllister
Dope Slap Soup

Reaction Records

By Georgetown Fats
March 2008

Every bluesman has a mentor. Muddy Waters took Buddy Guy under his wing after Buddy impressed Muddy with an exhibition of his guitar prowess. The great Junior Wells often covered tunes by Sonny Boy Williamson as a sign of respect to his mentor. Jake and Elwood Blues had Curtis show them the way. Curtis was, in fact, the man who made Jake and Elwood take their first step on their “mission from God.”

Though I would not insult anyone by claiming to be a bluesman, as a blues fan I am fortunate enough to have a mentor - a family member I am proud to admit has been “Curtis” to my “Jake Blues.”

“Curtis” summed up Dope Slap Soup in the most succinct way possible: Great if you like “easy, breezy, cover girl” blues.

On Dope Slap Soup, Randy McAllister is credited with vocals, one track of drums and all of the work on Mississippi blues harp. Any avid reader of Blues Revue will attest to McAllister’s chops. He is usually in the top 10 for vocals and harp during the Blues Music Awards (formerly Handy Awards) nominations season.

His skill and talent are not questionable, but considering Dope Slap Soup as a blues recording is entirely open for discussion. There are obvious country and soul influences, and the production quality is crafted to be pop-adult contemporary friendly. But in spite of McAllister’s talent and skills, Dope Slap Soup is a “Doctor Phil” interpretation of blues music.

The disc is a concept album about McAllister’s small town Texas upbringing. McAllister has surrounded himself with other gifted musicians for this 12- track homage to small town dysfunction. However, the pop-friendly nature of the songs negates any flatted 3rds McAllister may have decided to use within his songs and structure.

In appreciation for the quality of the talent contributing to this record, this CD will be passed along to Mamma Georgetown Fats, who appreciates the Kenny G version of jazz. Mamma Fats will appreciate this CD, while I will happily dump these tracks as soon as the hard drive on my iPod has almost reached capacity.

www.randymcallister.com

www.reactionrecords.com

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