Big Head Blues Club
Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
The Big Head Blues Club is a project of Big Head Todd and The Monsters. The Colorado based band was originally formed in 1984. Todd Mark Mohr, guitar; Brian Nevin, drums; and Rob Squires, bass; all met while attending Columbine High School. Later they all attended The University of Colorado. They named themselves Big Head Todd and The Monsters in 1987 and released their first album “Another Mayberry” on their Big Records label in 1989. They signed with Giant Records in 1993 and released their third studio album “Sister Sweetly”. They had three singles off of that album and sales of over a million copies.
In 1997 Big Head Todd and The Monsters released “Beautiful World” on Giant/Warner Brothers Records; on it John Lee Hooker guested on their version of his song “Boom, Boom”.
Jeremy Lawton was added on keyboards sometime in 2004. He first appears on their “Live At the Fillmore” recording.
In 2005 the crewmembers of the Space Shuttle Discovery requested the band write a song to honor their first mission since the Columbia disaster. The resulting song “Blue Sky” was dedicated to all the people involved in the American space program; later it became Hilary Clinton’s 2008 campaign song.
The band’s ninth studio recording 2010’s “Rocksteady” featured covers of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” and The Rolling Stones “Beast of Burden”.
In 2011 the band decided to further explore their blues roots. Under the name the “Big Head Blues Club” they released a tribute “100 Years of Robert Johnson”. Included were appearances by B.B. King, Charlie Musselwhite, Cedric Burnside, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Ruthie Foster, and Lightnin’ Malcolm. The album was produced by Chris Goldsmith.
Big Head Todd and Monsters last album 2014’s “Black Beehive” marked a return to their easy melodic songwriting but now with a blues influence. Guesting were Ronnie Baker Brooks and Eddie Shaw. Included is “Hubert’s Dream”; a tribute to Sumlin.
This is the second edition of the “Big Head Blues Club” and this time they pay tribute to Willie Dixon; all of the songs are from him except for “Good Advice” written by J.B. Lenoir. The band still consists of Mohr, Nevin, Squires and Lawton; and the album is once again produced by Goldsmith.
The opener “Hidden Charms” features Mohr, on both guitar and vocal, while Lawton is on piano. Mohr also sings lead on “The Seventh Son”; “Pretty Thing”; “Crazy Mixed Up World” with some great harp from Billy Branch, and on the closer “Sittin’ and Cryin’ The Blues”.
The Band is joined once again by Brooks on guitar who also sings lead on both “Let Me Love You Baby” and “My Love Will Never Die”. On “Good Advice” he shares the vocal with Branch and Mud Morganfield.
Branch also plays harp on “It Don’t Make Sense You Can’t Make Peace” which is a vocal duet between him and Erica Brown; again on “The Same Thing” another duet this time between Brown and Mohr; and on “I Want To Be Loved” sung by Morganfield. Branch also sings lead on “Bring It On Home” while Morganfield takes another vocal on “You Need Love”.
The Big Head Blues Club will not over power you. The bands music is softer than most blues bands but their warmth and elegance shines through.