Headed South

  • 2006
  • Headed South
  • Blue Stew
  • Silk City Records

Description

Blue Stew is a 4-piece band from Ventura, CA. Among a myriad of albums submitted, Headed South was one of the five finalists for the Blues Foundation’s 2006 award as Best Self-Produced Blues Album of the Year. The Santa Barbara Blues Society was proud to call Blue Stew our representative in that competition.

The SBBS chose this album as our representative because it is GOOD! All the songs were composed by the band except for the closer, a unique and tasty reworking of the Jimmy Reed classic, “Found True Love.” Proficient guest musicians Steve White on horns and keyboard, Mitch Kashmar on harmonica, and Bill Flores on accordion and fiddle add spice to the mix on several songs.

The album opens with “Three Days to Louisiana,” a Cajun gumbo treat featuring a finger-popping beat and Dr. John-style drawling vocal. Next up is a soul blues number with some fine lead guitar work, followed by a shuffle reminiscent of the tunes of J.J. Cale and Dire Straits and perfectly abetted by the harp work of Mitch Kashmar. The consistently high quality is further sustained through mid-tempo grooves, another Cajun tune, a slow talking blues, and even a boogie a la vintage Canned Heat. “Blues for the Bearcat,” a musical journey and tribute from the Gulf Coast up to Memphis, is a highlight.

The Santa Barbara – Ventura area is fortunate to host a band as accomplished and versatile as Blue Stew. I’ve been wearing out this CD and eagerly awaiting more.