Gordon Meier Blues Experience
This album is a great introduction to an accomplished guitarist and vocalist. Gordon Meier has been part of the Western New Jersey blues scene for quite some time. For the last twenty five or more years he has been in a Morris County band called The Midnight Street Shakers. Among his influences he cites Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, B.B. King; and especially Freddie King and Magic Slim. He has also been known to lead the Thursday night blues jam at The Water Wheel in Milford, Pa. These twelve new tracks were recorded October 16th, and 17th, 2016 at the PonderRosa Studios in Lafayette, N.J.
The band is unusually tight as they sound as if they’ve been playing together for years and they have. Meier, guitar and vocals, is joined by Mark Freidman, bass, and Lester Veith, drums. Guest musicians include some of NJ’s finest.
The GMBE covers the Howlin’ Wolf/Willie Dixon written “Howlin’ for My Darlin’”, a 1960 Chess Records single for Wolf and the “B” side to “Spoonful”. Hubert Sumlin was Wolf’s guitarist and Dean Shot, who spent five years playing guitar with Sumlin, channels him. It’s a great way to open an album.
“Stop Draggin’ That Chain Around” is from John Primer and originally appeared on his 1995 album “The Real Deal”. Meier reminds us that Primer was Muddy Waters’ last guitarist and that he also played for Magic Slim and The Teardrops. Meier, a commanding vocalist, also takes a great guitar solo; guesting are Joe Taino on slide and Dennis Gruenling on harmonica.
“Red Headed Woman” is credited to The “Hollywood Fats” Band. It was recorded by them in 1978 and re-recorded by Canned Heat ten years later. The Hollywood Fats Band later reformed and became The Hollywood Blue Flames.
“Gold Tail Bird” from Jimmy Rogers is Meier’s best vocal performance. “She Belongs To Me” was written by Magic Sam. “Gypsy Woman” is from Muddy Waters. “Signifyin’ Monkey” contains some explicit language and it’s from the Johnny Otis catalogue.
Meier includes two of his own songs; “Just Keep Ridin’” once again featuring Taino on slide guitar, and “Someday Baby” featuring Gruenling on harp again.
Two instrumentals are included from Freddie King; “In The Open” and “The Stumble” which closes out this fine album. Tom Hammer is featured on keyboards while Meier’s guitar playing shines.
Meier shows his reverence for the masters as he both educates and entertains. He is receiving air play in the U.S. and around the world. His success is well deserved.
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