The James Bolden Blues Band

00:00 April 28, 2014
By: David Vicari

James "Boogaloo" Bolden is a blues legend. He's worked with lots of musical greats from Duke Ellington to James Brown, and for the past 30 plus years, he's been B.B. King's bandleader. All of this experience definitely shows on his latest project, No New "Jus' the Blues."Bolden expertly leads his band on a series of traditional-esque blues songs as he lends his vocals, trumpet and flugelhorn to the melodies. His voice is a mash up between King, who he calls his mentor, and legendary jazz vocalist Joe Williams. "Pocket Full of Money" starts with a standard lead-in and holds it to the refrain. In this track, it is immediately obvious that Bolden selected only the finest of seasoned veteran and budding professional musicians for his band. The band is comprised of multi-talented artists who serve as musicians, vocalists and writers. Much of the album features original material written by Bolden or a band member. "Any Day Getaway" gives singer/saxophonist Evelyn Rubio the spotlight as she lays her beautifully perfect voice on the track. "Hey There Pretty Woman" is an obvious tribute to Bolden's longtime career as King's bandleader as he sounds so similar to him on this song, it begs for a double listen just to be sure you have the right guy. It's written by Bolden and features a stunning saxophone solo by Eric Demmer, who is also the album's producer. The title track is fun and funky and features the casual talking found on most popular blues records with guitar and saxophone solos from the band. With this album, Bolden pays tribute to all that is blues and is a great reminder that this American music form is far from a dying art.

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