Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Review -- FATHEAD -- Building Full of Blues

Electro Fi Records

“Al Lerman (the front man for Fathead) also teaches harp in workshops at colleges, schools, and in his home in Etobicoke. He has produced Pinetop Perkins and he and Jack (de Keyzer) toured Europe with Pinetop. Jack and Al also play on the CD Juke Joint Rockers featuring Willie Big Eyes Smith. Willie was drummer for Muddy Waters. An interesting aside about Pinetop, is, he lives on McDonald's Cheeseburgers and chain smokes, he presently is 93 or 4. Al told me in Stockholm there was only one McDonald's they took a taxi over and Pinetop ordered six cheeseburgers ate two and put four in his bag...Jeezzz!! Al and I worked as a duo for a couple of years aside from our other gigs. We get along great although my interest in other forms of music clash with his in some ways, him being very much a blues artist. We haven't worked together in awhile but hope to soon.” -- Terry Blankley

Fathead is a veteran of the Canadian blues scene formed back in 1992, giving this Ontario band a decade-and-a-half to hone their skills and fine tune their sound. So it's no wonder Fathead comes off as well-polished on Building Full of Blues, the band's sixth album.
As a band Fathead truly shares the limelight. John Mays in the lead vocalist, but the sound comes from the likes of Al Lerman on harp and saxophone, Omar Tunnoch on fretless bass, Darren Poole on guitar (adding fiddle in a spot or two as well including a hot piece called Katrina), and Hayden Vialva on drums.
Over the years these guys have been up for a ton of blues awards, most recently seeing three 2007 Maple Blues Awards, Mays for vocals, Lerman on harp and Tunnoch for bass.
So the pedigree and polish is there to make this a winner.
I particularly like What About Me? Where Sharkura S'Aida comes on to add duet vocals. Her voice fits in with Mays' like they've been performing together for years.
Other choice cuts are One Day The Sun Will Shine, a cut where Mays' voice really shines, and the sax work is sweet, and Apartment 10, a true party song, and Too Many Heartaches.
Another CD that is well worth grabbing.
You can check out Fathead at

-- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Oct. 31, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada


Jess said...

It can't get any better than this.

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