RB Stone

RB Stone
Loosen Up!

Middle Mountain Music

By Ms. Marci
July 2013

RB had a hand in writing all ten of these juicy tunes, with some co-written by Tom Hambridge or Ray Kennedy. If you don't want to listen to some really hard rockin' blues, stay away from this disc! Every cut has has a strong presence. RB Stone is backed by a powerful band consisting of Robert Britt on guitars, Tommy Mc Donald on bass, Jefferson Jarvis on piano and organ,Tom Hambridge doing double duty as drummer and producer, and of course, RB Stone on lead vocals, harmonica, and cigar box guitar. Every cut is so good that I wish I had room to tell you details about every one. I will tell you this, if the beginning of this CD were an appetizer, you'd find yourself gobbling up the entire buffet! Cut one, "High Horse" comes on with guns blazing ... vocals and guitar firmly planted! There is obviously a prominent country-blues feeling to this song. If you're a Chicago-blues purist, change out of your fancy leather shoes and put on your cowboy boots. When the band kicks in, you'll be dancing wherever you are. Listening to "Long Gone Lonesome Blues" you could easily have been told it was performed by The Allman Brothers and no questions would be asked. This song has a hint of "Whipping Post" to it, but not to the point of being plagiarism. The title track "Loosen Up" is really up-tempo with a blues-rock groove. Normally I don't make comparisons (even though I just did), but the intro has an undercurrent homage to Bo Diddley's "Road Runner". I found myself waiting to hear Bo's signature string-scrape ... and a "beep-beep!" I might be wrong, but I think Bo would have felt honored!

On an inspirational note, "God Heals You When You Cry" is soft, comforting and compassionate, a quality not often found in the blues. In this song, you can feel his guitar gently cry. For anyone who has ever questioned whether it was a waste of time to weep, this song reassures you that it wasn't in vain. It is easily one of my faves for that very reason! This song ends on a plaintive note with the profound statement, "When sorrow meets surrender, God heals you when you cry!"

The energy definitely gets amped up again (pun intended) in "Texas Drunk Tank Blues." It's a real boot stomper! Once again, the guitar comes on strong, the drums pounding, solid "in the pocket" bass, and harmonica are all revved up with some high octane rockin' blues written alone by RB along with "I Ain't Buyin' That Bull Today," a hard rocking blues, and "Gone As Gone Can Be," which has an intro with slide guitar, a little dash of cymbals and bass, then kicks in with a funky groove. Track nine, "She's Too Hot To Handle," co-written by Hambridge, is a playful shuffle about a gal who, "fell from the sky when the Milky Way melted!"

The final cut, "Harley Heart" features RB on cigar box guitar, slidin' away as if he was Robert Johnson and had just discovered electricity! This should be the theme song for anyone who ever sat in the saddle of one of these fine machines.

This CD is a real mover. Like RB says in the last chorus of the title track, "When Saint Peter comes a knockin', you might as well be rockin', loosen up!"

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