Hi Hat Records
Jerry McWorter is the leader of Hot Roux. Inspired by Levon Helm, of The Band, McWorter formed the Louisiana styled swamp rock trio in order that there be a rhythm section to backup artists like James Harman, Lynwood Slim and Albert Lee. Expanding into a trio they recorded their debut album “Stranger’s Blues” in 2015.
Based out of Ventura California the band currently includes McWorter, drums and vocals; Brent Harding, bass and vocals; and either Frank Goldwasser, Ed Berghoff, or Kyle Jesser, guitar. On occasion guitarists Johnny Main or Jon Lawton are also known to sit in. For this session they are joined by guests Carl Sonny Leyland, piano; RJ Mischo, harmonica; Steve Nelson, bass; and Jeff Evans, percussion. The horn section of saxophonists Jimmy Calire and Bill Flores are also added from time to time. All of the songs were written by McWorter and Harding.
Goldwasser is best known as one of the guitarists who played with The Mannish Boys. He plays rhythm on “Don’t Wanna Talk About Love” which has a New Orleans sound primarily due to the saxophones of Calire and Flores. McWorter’s vocal is infectious while Mischo joins in on harp. Goldwasser switches to slide on “Della Be My Baby” featuring McWorter’s second line drumming. On “Down & Out”, Goldwasser takes a nice solo while Flores plays both tenor and baritone sax.
“What a Lie” features the guitars of both Goldwasser and Berghoff; the latter also plays lead on “I Hear’m Talk’n” and on “Wake Up Slim”. Bergoff solos beautifully.
The swampy “Woman You Haunt Me” features Kyle Jester on guitar. Leyland is on piano and he takes a fabulous solo. The song reminds me of the “Lil’ Band O’ Gold”. Jester is featured again on the rockabilly styled “Misery and Misery”. Harding plays some nice bass and he and McWorter harmonize nicely on the vocal. “Can’t See” once again features Jester.
Jon Lawton takes on the guitar chores on “One More Train”; while that responsibility goes to Johnny Main on “Rent Party Boogie” with Calire on saxophone and Nelson sitting in on bass.
All of the guitarists are equally fine. McWorter’s vocals have great clarity. Good songwriting and excellent musicianship enable Hot Roux to get into a seasoned groove on this really nice sophomore cook-out.
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