Monday, August 3, 2015

A Trio Driven Beyond the Wild Blues

10930908_498536026961963_3221085542528711777_nCD Review of the Self-titled Album Bo & The Bluesdrivers

Available on GES Music Label, Their Website and iTunes

Review by Joseph Timmons: Xombiewoof Magazine

In the smokey, dark and dimly lit bar rooms where old jukeboxes still reign supreme, and old men sit nursing whiskey & water, removing bad memories one sip at a time is where blues is the rhythm that coaxes the beat of the lonely heart. This is not the type of image one gets when they think of Los Angeles California, one thinks of Hollywood, bright lights and starlets prancing through the hot West Coast nights, but to the contrary, this is where Bo & The Bluesdrivers walk tall in lean & mean city streets, in a town known to eat it’s young.

10846429_414117462070487_1212995970887621411_nBo & the Bluesdrivers have been honing their music together for 10 years now. Meeting at an open jam hosted by Brian “Chewy” James, the group’s bass player and their drummer J.J. Garcia, it was a moment that all three knew things were right. Drummer J.J. Garcia has said, “The band came together both naturally and organically, with no stress or drama……..just making music that we dig”.

These days, they are in demand, performing throughout the West and also as studio musicians, with rhythm section drivers J.J. and Chewy working not only with longtime guitarist/vocalist Bo (aka Shane McMillian), but also on projects, TV, movie, sports appearances (including Super Bowl XLV) and national tours. With Bo & the Bluesdrivers, however, they make the music they want and tell it like it is.

This trio of talented and road worn musicians have more experience packed in their overnight bags than some have even to imagine, and in this wonderful, self-titled album Bo & The Bluesdrivers only has one flaw, it is way too short, leaving the listener wanting more. These 5 songs are the audio equivalent of a five finger sucker punch in a backroom brawl, lays you out flat! The sound is sublime and old school with steady tempo and sure stepped time followed by smoking hot bass and sizzling guitar riffs. Every song a triumph and worth every tear that would find its way to the dance floor.

A veteran of the Florida club scene, Bo’s travels have seen him sitting in with the legendary drummers Buddy Miles (Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies, Delfonics, Bootsy Collins) and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Artimus Pyle before moving from Florida to L.A. 14 years ago. A world-class guitarist, you can hear his affinity for a variety of genres, from jazz, funk and soul to rock & roll come through loud and clear on such originals as “Out in the Streets,” audience fave “Walkin’ in the Park,” tasty instrumentals like “Sea Song” and “Chillin’” along with well-chosen covers of classics by Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pink Floyd and ZZ Top, among others.


With Bo & The Bluesdrivers, there is honesty in their songs; I am especially fond of “Ass, Gas or Grass” and “Out on the Streets”, firm and perfect storytelling in verse the whimsical charm of the old blues masters. This is an album worth the last fistful of dollars in your back pocket, and it will do you a whole lot better than a 3 finger of Johnny Walker Red

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