While still a teen Vin Mott got bitten by the blues bug. It was the sound of the harmonica as played by Muddy Waters, Little Walter, and James Cotton. Mott studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in songwriting in 2011. He returned to NJ and began to take local gigs with his friend Sean Ronan. In 2017 Mott released his critically acclaimed debut “Quit the Women for the Blues” and based on it’s success began touring, out of state, from Vermont to Louisiana. This is his sophomore effort.
Vin Mott’s Rhythm and Blues Band currently includes Mott, harp and vocals; Dean Shot, guitar; Steve “Pretty Boy” Kirsty, bass; and Matt Niedbalski, drums. Tha album is once again co-produced by Mott and Phil Silverberg. All of the songs are written by Mott.
Mott states the album “was recorded live in a makeshift studio with minimal overdubs…and lack of heavy production. We made a righteous album that pays respect honoring the pioneers of the blues genre while making the style our own”. Mott opens with the autobiographical “Car Troubles Made Me a Good Blues Singer”. He follows with a shuffle about his love for Southern cuisine on “Give Me Cornbread”. Mott’s muscular harp is tough and heartfelt and complements his vocal clarity.
Dean Shot plays some inspired slide guitar on the title track, “Rogue Hunter”, a Bo Diddley styled boogie. Shot who toured with Hubert Sumlin for six years, channels Sumlin on another shuffle “I Got the Blues on My Mind”.
The rhythm section of Kirsty on bass, and Niedbalski utilizing his brushes, create an image of a train as its “Whistlin’ by the Graveyard”. The band parties on the joyous roadhouse anthem “Ice Cold Beer”; on the sweet Jimmy Reed styled country blues “Honey”; on the socially relevant “Paterson is Crumblin’” with some great soloing from both Shot and Mott; and on the Robert Johnson inspired “Please Mr. Devil” where Mott “freely offers his soul in trade for diabolical favors and mastery over the harmonica”. The album closes with “Greaser”, a harp instrumental, inspired by Link Wray’s surf rock classic.
This is another fine album from The Vin Mott Rhythm and Blues Band as Mott proves himself to be a great bandleader.