The Forrest McDonald Band fea. Andrew Black
Blues In A Bucket
World Talent Records
Forrest Howard McDonald was born in Austin, Texas the son of a Constitutional historian. He first picked up the guitar when he was fourteen and studied at both the Dick Grove Conservatory of Music in Studio City and at The Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. McDonald met Muddy Waters in 1964 and he remains a primary influence. McDonald can play rhythm behind a big band or step out front and solo. He plays blues, jazz and swing, and has headlined The Atlanta Blues Festival, the King Biscuit Blues Festival and others. This is his fifteenth recording.
Andrew Black is a soulful vocalist and part of Atlanta’s music scene. He has over ten recording credits. He appears on Finnish guitarist Slim Butler’s 2012 “Inner Blues”, produced by Otis Grand, where he shares the album’s vocals with Sugar Ray Norcia.
The Forrest McDonald band includes, McDonald, guitars; Matthew Wauchope, keyboards; Pix Ensign, harmonica; vocalists Black and/or Becky Wright; Lee Gammon, bass; and John McKnight, drums. The fabulous horn section includes Jimmy King, trumpet and flugelhorn, and Norman Franks, saxophones. The album is produced by McDonald.
All of the songs are written or co-written by McDonald. “Boogie Me Till I Drop” first appeared on McDonald’s 2001 album “Finger Lickin’ Blues”. On the new version the song is given a New Orleans second line beat. Featured are McDonald’s lead guitar and solo and Black’s expressive vocal. This is a great production.
Throughout the recording Black proves himself a great vocalist. “Blues in The Basement” is reprised from McDonald’s 2004 album “Colorblind”; guesting is Tony Carey on organ, and Jon Schwenke sitting in on bass. Other highlights include the title track; “Blue Morning Sun”; “Hard To Lose” with its four backing singers; and “Windy City Blues” with the lyric “grandma looks like Betty Grable”, a fabulous horn arrangement and a fine extended solo from McDonald.
Wright takes the vocal on “Powerhouse” and shares a duet with Black on “Let The Love in Your Heart”. McDonald steps upfront to sing on “Misery and Blues”.
This is a really great album from Producer MacDonald. Although released back in February it has stood the test of time. Accolades to both MacDonald and Black.