It is proof of what a great blues mans Jay Stollman is that he was chosen to be the lead vocalist and front man with The Johnny Winter Band for the Johnny Winter Remembrance Shows. On Room for One More he offers even more proof.
On this album, the band features Debbie Davies, a solid performer in her own right, among its members. She plays lead and rhythm guitar and provides background vocals on “Pucker Up Buttercup.”Other band members include Andy Gabel and Jeremy Goldsmith, also on lead and rhythm guitars, Scott Spray and Johnny Mennona on bass, Tommy Nagy and Gerald Myles on drums, Matt Zeiner on keyboards, and Kevin Totolan on harp. So you ccan see there is a lot going on instrumentally around and Stollman’s strong vocals.
The songs include nine covers and five original numbers, all very powerful.
The first highlight is the opener, a fast, bluesy version of Walter Trout’s “Ride Til I’m Satisfied.” Next song to deserve special notice is Johnny Winter’s “Tired of Tryin,” which fFeatures incredible harp playing from Totolan plus evocative, emotional vocals. There are two great versions of Luther Guitar Jr. Johnson tunes, “Lonesome In My Bedroom,” with delightful pinao and guitar, and “Pucker Up Buttercup.” a happy rave up with those fabulous background vocals from Davies blending perfectly with Stollman’s vocal. Then there’s the classic “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water,” sung here with passion and punctuated by Davies’ incredible guitar licks.
My personal favorite track on the album, the one I play again and again, is the beautiful blues version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” one of the best songs of all time, I think. This version is simply spectacular, enhanced by the Hammond B-3 in the background. My second favorite is Chuck Berry’s “Back to Memphis,” not one of his better known songs, but a real goody. Stollman really catches the playful spirit of the song and Davies and the rhythm section just rock.
Andy Abel gets to show off some nice slide on two originals, “I’m Done” and “Love Me& Leave Me.”
Altogether, all of these songs will sound sweet to your ears.DavieSpellman has a great feel for every song he sings and I’m willing to bet you’re going to love this CD..