Night After Night
This band screams SOUL. Delmark is perhaps the most authentic Chicago blues label and has been for fifty years now but this band could just as easily be from Memphis as Chicago. From the opening notes and Dennison’s vocal, you get a huge does of soul. My words about their self-titled 2016 debut album hold again. “What sets the Corey Dennison Band apart for others is their natural grasp of soul music, finding that sweet spot between electric blues and funky soul grooves without the benefit of horns and background vocalists. Make no mistake – this is a great soul record (and a pretty good blues record as well).
Vocalist and guitarist Corey Dennison; and multi-instrumentalist Gerry Hundt front this four-piece unit. Dennison, who grew up in Chattanooga TN and spent most of his childhood between TN and GA, honed his chops playing rhythm and lead guitar for bluesman Carl Weathersby for a decade, after moving to Chicago. Hundt, who plays guitar and organ here, had a major role in the Nick Moss band and leads his own one-man band playing guitar, harp, mandolin, bass, and drums. Hundt and Dennison penned eight of the 13 tracks and display a formidable partnership throughout.
The album begins with the slow-burning blues “Hear My Plea,” a showcase for the testifying intensity of Dennison’s pipes as delivers a clean guitar solo against Hundt’s B3 backdrop. “Misti” is a retro classic soul groove, bristling with melodic hooks. Blues return for “I Get the Shivers,” featuring perhaps Dennison’s best guitar work while “Better Man” with its spoken intro is a tribute to those who have passed, delivered with the passion of the best soul singers.
“Phone Keeps Ringing” is a funky workout. They do Tyrone Davis proud with “Are You Serious?” and find their gospel groove in “Troubles of the World.” “It’s So Easy” is pure Chicago electric blues, another example of Dennison’s hard-edged gritty vocal. They transform the country cover tune “Stuck in Chicago” into straight-ahead Chicago blues and close appropriately with the Jimmy Redd staple,”Down in Virginia.”
These guys gained much acclaim from their 2016 debut. They are as solid a unit as you’ve find on the blues circuit today. Look them up when you’re in Chicago at Kingston Mines (Mondays and Wednesdays) or on the upcoming festival circuit. This is no sophomore jinx.
- Jim Hynes
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