Pittsburgh bluesman Jimmy Adler has a new CD, and it's -- pardon the expression -- something worth crowing about.
It's "Midnight Rooster" (McKeesport's Bonedog Records), and it's an excellent album, full of finely crafted new tunes by Adler and Burgh songsmith Mike Sweeney (also the band's bass player).
Adler, one of the best guitarists on the local scene, shows off his skills with styles moving from the Delta to Chicago, and incorporating his considerable swing-blues chops.
The title track, besides its sly lyrical take, is heavy with crisply done Chicago guitar riffs, as are the fat tones on "Lion's Mouth." Likewise, "Headhunters" is a snappy tribute to to the classic Muddy Waters band that used to roam Chicago clubs, challenging other bands.
There are swinging tracks -- one of Adler's strongest styles-- like "All About It," "Swing It" and "Basement Boogie." And he uncorks sizzling slide work, including the standout "Hair of the Dog."
"Let's Cut Loose" features the Kilborn Alley Blues Band's Josh Stimmel's stinging guitar and and tough vocals from Andrew Duncanson.
You can't ignore the excellent backing work of the band. Besides Sweeney on bass, Kenny Kellner on drums and John Burgh on keyboards round out the sturdy sound that drives everything smoothly along the bkues highway here. Robert Peckman adds some background vocals.
This is Adler's third CD, and they just keep getting better. He's taken his guitar work to another level here, and it's a pleasure to have him keeping the blues alive in the Burgh.
Here's a video of "Midnight Rooster" from the Wheeling Heritage Music BluesFest a couple of weeks ago, followed by a tracklist from the CD:
Down Home Honey
St. Charles Line
Let's Cut Loose
Scratchin' At My Screendoor
All About It
Hair Of The Dog