Back Around Here CD Review
Satellite Times and Blues Bytes
by Terry Clear - from Malaga, Spain

Rob Stone features on the new Chris James/Patrick Rynn CD, and the two of them return the compliment by backing him on his own CD, the newly released “Back Around Here”, and all twelve tracks on the album were written by these three guys.

Chicago based Rob Stone plays some great harmonica, as well as providing the vocals on top of the song writing collaboration with James & Rynn. There are also some special guest artists featuring on the CD – Sam Lay, Willie Hayes, David Maxwell and Rodney Brown, who plays sax on three of the tracks.

It’s taken seven years for Rob Stone to follow up his last Earwig release, “Just My Luck”, mainly because he’s been too busy working to get into the studio. This gap isn’t totally a bad thing, it’s given Stone the time to add flavour and fullness to his music, and these twelve tracks reflect that with a nice mix of tempos and influences.

“You’re No Good For Me” is the opener, and when you listen to this track you just know this is going to be a good CD. David Maxwell provides the well above average piano work here and on Track three “Love You For Myself” , (which shows how good Stone’s harmonica playing is) – as well as on two more tracks later in the album.

The tracks change tempo and influence all the way through the album, keeping the listener interested and alert to the next change – from the Jimmy Reed influenced harmonica on “I Need To Plant A Money Tree” to the big band feel of “Chicago All Night”, to the New Orleans boogie woogie feeling of “Sloppy Drunk Blues”, but there isn’t a bad track on the CD as far as I’m concerned.

Track 10, “Dragon Killers” is an instrumental full of good blues and it turns out to be my favourite on the album, but it’s a close run thing with a few others! It’s followed by a jump blues “Can’t Turn Back The Clock” and then into the last track of the CD “No Strings Attached”.

What a good album!!