Blues On Fire
Andy Watts started playing the guitar when he was twelve years old. He was drawn in after first hearing American blues. Watts formed his band The Blues Rebels in 2012 and has played with them all over Israel and Europe. They released their first album “Open Road” in 2015. Their widely acclaimed 2016 follow-up recording “Voodoo land” was produced by Joe Louis Walker. Watts has also played with Johnny Winter, Bernard Allison, and Lucky Peterson.
“Blues On Fire” is Watts’ solo debut. Watts opens with “Full Throttle” a Texas styled instrumental featuring co-producer Eyal Klein, keyboards; and the saxophone of Elad Gellert. Watts’ guitar has that nice fat tone.
Watts’ guitar kicks off his original title track soulfully sung by Joe Louis Walker. Once again the horns and organ accentuate. The rhythm section is Amos Springer, bass; and Avi Barak, drums, from The Blues Rebels.
Bassist IIan Hillel sings on “Looking For Somebody” which was written by Peter Green and which first appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s self titled 1968 debut. Watts’ credits Green as a major influence.
Watts’ states that Stevie Ray Vaughan was another influence; here is Vaughan’s instrumental “Riviera Paradise” with some nice keyboard work from Klein and a beautiful trumpet solo from Gregory Rivkin.
J.J. Cale’s “I Got The Same Old Blues” is sung by Roy Young. Watts’ guitar is fabulous within the mix. Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” is played by The Blues Rebels: Watts, guitar; Springer, bass; Barak, drums; and Dov Hammer, harmonica and vocals. Hammer also plays on CG and The Hammer’s two albums 2007’s “Blues Heaven” and 2013’s “Something Good: The Memphis Sessions” recorded at the Sun Studios.
“Junkies, Monkey’s & Donkeys” was originally recorded by Jericho Jones, an Israeli rock band in 1971. Watts, Klein, Gellert, Springer, and Barak are joined by songwriter and singer Danny Shoshan.
The closer is another Hendrix tune, “Who Knows”, recorded when he was with The Band of Gypsies. Watts, is on guitar; Rivkin on trumpet; Niv Hovav on keyboards; Hillel on bass; and Moshe Yankovsky on drums. This is another fine arrangement.
Guitarist Watts proves himself to also be a fine producer as there are sixteen musicians lending their talents to this album. Each tune is worthy of airplay. Check out this new album from Watts.