Steve Wiggins Band

Steve Wiggins Band
Precious Cargo

SteveWho? Entertainment

By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
October 2010

Had I listened to this disc without knowing the band’s name, and then was asked to guess who they were, my answer would have been “The Fusion Masters.” Their ability to combine rock, jazz, funk and soul into their style of play – while never straying far from the blues - is incomparable.

The band is actually called The Steve Wiggins Band and these masters of fusion are: Steve Wiggins on Yamaha Grand Piano, Hammond Organ and vocals (1 track), Lenwood Cherry Jr. on drums and vocals, Bruce Hebert on bass and vocals (2 tracks) and Waldo Tirado on saxophone. “Precious Cargo,” which was recorded live at the Marina Civic Center in Panama, FL, also includes an additional studio track on which David Goldflies plays bass and Ted Shumate plays guitar.

The opening track is total musical mayhem. It's an instrumental original titled “Steve's Boogie,” but by no means is Steve the only one boogieing. Oh yeah, he's running wild on the keyboards alright, but Wally's giving him a good chase on sax and the rhythm guys are in pursuit as well. Very good stuff.

Although the rockin's gone and the rollin's slowed down considerably, the groove is still there on James Taylor's low down and dirty “Steam Roller.” These kinds of songs are custom-made for sultry sax leads and Wally's surely up to the task. With Bruce's soulful vocals and Steve's piano and organ bouncing, this is easily another of the disc’s best.

A piano and saxophone are staples - and in my opinion, essential - to a jazzy instrumental. That's exactly what “Roosterfish” is, and the piano and saxophone certainly highlight this jazzy number.

“Dimples,” a hot Hooker cover, features Steve on vocals but it's his hands that make this one happen. Backed by some smokin' rhythm from Lenwood on the drums and Bruce on the bass, it's his boogie-woogie piano that runs away with this one.

“My Last Tear” is my kind of blues. Gut-wrenching, soulful vocals that you don't just hear, you feel them as well; way down the end of the keyboard piano notes that give you goose bumps; commanding, yet slow and sultry sax blowin'; the intense vibrations of the Hammond Organ; and of course the pulsing rhythm. This is guitar-less blues at its very best. It's songs like this that win “song of the year” awards.

Other tracks on “Precious Cargo” – as a whole, the very best guitar-less music I've ever listened to - include: “Cold Shot,” “Doin My Thing,” “Black Cat Woman,” “Watermelon Man,” “Ain't No Sunshine” and “Doin' My Thing” (studio version).

Steve Wiggins does have three previous releases, but they were of the easy listening style of music. Therefore, I believe that “Precious Cargo” - his first venture into the blues - may make him eligible for a nod in the Best New Artist Debut category for a BMA. I also believe that if enough of the right people hear it, it will get that nod.

To check Steve out, and to order a copy of “Precious Cargo,” just go to http://www.stevenwiggins.com (Remember to include the 'n' in steven in the URL). Make sure you tell him you're there 'cause you heard what the Blewzzman had to say.

www.stevenwiggins.com

<- back to Features