Surf music godfather and guitar god Merrell Fuankhauser drops a blues reissue sure to please!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Guitar legend Merrell Fankhauser has long been credited as the pioneer of surf music thanks to the hit "Wipeout." Merrell is far from a one trick pony with critically acclaimed talents stretching into both psychedelic and folk rock. Blues enthusiasts may raise a justifiable eyebrow but not only was the legendary blues label Alligator interested, On The Blue Road went on to further acclaim when nominated for a Memphis Blues Award.
Aside from strong originals including "Hot Night In Louisville" and "Voodoo In The Jungle" there are some traditional favorites including "Further On Up The Road" and the Muddy Waters classic "High Heel Sneakers." Joining Merrell is drummer Ed Cassidy getting his rhythmic groove on while well past 80! With reissues it is often "buyer beware" as bad masters and mediocre sound are sadly more often than not the rule and not the exception. On The Blue Road again is the exception with sound, production and a vibrant blues spirit all stepping out to make their presence felt. While some could consider a two disc set perhaps one disc too many, is there really such a thing as too much of a good thing?
Blues aficionados can find plenty to cheer about while Fankhouser's more eclectic following should also welcome this new window into Merrell's artistic DNA as a rare treat. A true blues collective and a welcome addition to any library. Sadly the great drummer Ed Cassidy has pulled an Elvis and "left the building" but there is no doubt he is smiling from ear to ear! Nothing to grind on here!