Bo and the Bluesdrivers have been honing their music together for 10 years now. Meeting at an open jam hosted by Brian “Chewy” James, the group’s bass player and their drummer J.J. Garcia, it was a moment that all three knew things were right. As J.J. said, “The band came together both naturally and organically, with no stress or drama……..just making music that we dig”. These days, they are in demand as a live act performing throughout the West and also as studio musicians, with rhythm section drivers J.J. and Chewy working not only with longtime guitarist/vocalist Bo, but also on projects as varied as director John Carpenter’s movies and rock group’s Judge Jackson recordings, TV, movie and sports appearances (including Super Bowl XLV) and national tours. With Bo and the Bluesdrivers, however, they make the music they want and tell it like it is.
In ‘Walking in the Park’, for example, their music includes a tasteful guitar riff reminiscent of Duane Allman. Bo himself hails from the South, a native of St. Augustine, FL and melded his style of blues-rock from not only growing up and listening to Southern rock, but through years of playing in florida’s clubs. He has played with legendary drummer Buddy Miles from Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies and Artimus Pyle of the iconic Southern rockers Lynrd Skynrd. Bo tempers his Southern blues-rock roots with a healthy dose of jazz, funk and soul guitar playing, not only showing versatility but add a unique mix to the Bluesdriver’s recordings, the latest of which has just been recorded at Pawnshop Studios for release later this year. Bo’s vocals on ‘Walkin’ in the Park’, meanwhile, show that he can handle more than just uptempo blues tunes.
BO AND THE BLUESDRIVERS HI RES PIC 3. . Courtesy of Doug Deutsch PR.Of course, part of Bo and the Bluesdriver’s versatility can be heard in their original song ‘Chillin’, a straight-ahead blues shuffle instrumental that just automatically has your foot tapping. Like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bo knows that sometimes an instrumental is a good thing. Indeed, with the Bluesdrivers providing a solid driving background, Bo has room for some pretty tasteful guitar playing. They are not above telling it how it is in true blues style and speaking from experience, however. On ‘Out in the Streets’, another original tune that reminds one of one of the better ZZ Top tunes, Bo tells the story of being homeless and really makes you feel it:
I’m out on the streets again/I’m sleepin’ in my car/I’ve got these worn out shoes/smoked my last cigar
You can sense from the story that Bo, Chewy and J.J. tell that they feel the song from deep inside them. Indeed, this original tells more than just a story, it tells a story that brings out the blues and shows that they are not just singing and playing the blues but have lived it too.
Bo and the Bluesdrivers