That's the thing about the blues - it just keeps on coming. Over the years it has changed but that downhome feeling has remaining. Although there are apparently many genres within the blues, the most popular would appear to be the Chicago style. Despite being based in Southern California, Chico's Bail Bonds sound like they have lived their life in the Windy City.
There are no surprises here, just solid blues flavoured with a rock solid backbeat. This band's sincerity shines through it all and make this album a very decent addition to your record collection. That and Eric Ramirez's guitar playing. He plays a bit like Hendrix under restraint especially on "Get Off My Train" and never misses the opportunity for a well placed solo. The songs are all in-house jobs as well and are up to the task of keeping you interested. "Boot Shakin' Woman" would fill any blues club dancefloor and there is a touch of funk flavouring to "Noise Upstairs". Sort of reminiscent of the kind of music that seminal Chicago r&b bands like Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows produced and indeed they take the opportunity to fatten out their sound with a horn section on "Blue Light Special". Best track was the long, slow blues workout entitled "Times Are Getting Tougher". It is a standard blues theme but it is presented here with aplomb. The raw, acoustic "Rich & Lucky" also impressed with Joe Velosa's harmonica cutting its way out of the speakers.
I suppose that is the point about blues records like this. The blues isn't really trendy so, as a musical direction, this is unlikely to be a big money maker no matter how you shake it. Like we said earlier, this band's sincerity shines through and it is obvious that they like doing what they do. Maybe one day there will be a blues club in Scotland and at the end of a long week we could go there and spend some time in the company of beer and low rent women. Playing in the corner stage would be a damn fine live band called Chico's Bail Bonds. Now, that would do us very nicely. Until then, this album will fill the gap.