No Fluff Just The Stuff

By A.J Wachtel
June 2015

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TOM HOLLAND & THE SHUFFLE KINGS

No Fluff Just The Stuff

E Natchel Records 10 Tracks

Lots of good Blues and R&B on this CD which includes uptempo shuffles, slower, traditional Chicago Blues and two red hot instrumentals.

All of the cuts are written by Holland; who plays guitar and sings lead vocals on eight of the tracks too. It's been eleven years since Tom released his debut record, and these cats can play!

Well-known Chicago drummer Tino Cortes joins harmonica player Big D who's sound is similar to a James Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Little AND Big Walter mix, and bass player extraordinaire Mike Sharf; and they wail !

These guys have played together for many moons and it sounds like it. Tom Holland's clean tone and nasty leads are phenomenal; its no secret that he played in Mr. Superharp James Cotton's band for a long time; and its the same salad different dressing with his own group.

The uptempo shuffles comprise of: the opener "Waiting On The Other Shoe To Drop", "Long Road To Tomorrow", "Easiest Thing I'll Ever Do", "More Things Change", with Chi-six string icon John Primer joining in the fun and providing a scorching first lead in this song and the next, "Shuffle King Boogie"; and "Look Here Baby".

All these songs showcase Holland's clean tone, imaginative leads and typical Bluesy vocals. Another Chicago legend, Marty Sammon, long time member of Buddy Guy's band, lends his impressive piano chops to four of the melodies also. The instrumentals, "Hey Pardner!" and the title and ending track, "No Fluff, Just The Stuff" really flaunt Holland's great guitar skills and passion. The slower, more traditional "Hurry Up" and "Hardest Part Of Loving You" are the sound of the South Side of Chicago; at it's best.

Another cool thing about this CD is in the credits are thanks to the Executive Producers who financed this great CD via Kickstarter; proving that in this day and age, there are many people out there just waiting to hear your music and help you achieve your goals. Old Blues for a new era. Great stuff.

www.tomhollandshufflekings.com

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