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CD Review -- Biscuit Miller & The Mix
GLT blues radio

Biscuit Miller with the Mix

 

“Live” at the North Atlantic Blues Festival

 

Self-release

 

9 Tracks/79:17

 

Biscuit Miller Live CD

 

By Mark Thompson

 

          Recorded last year at the 24th annual North Atlantic Blues Festival, Dave “Biscuit” Miller and the Mix, his veteran backing band, aptly demonstrate why fans hold their dynamic live shows in such high regard. Miller has received two Blues Music Awards in the Instrumentalist – Bass category in addition to possessing a smooth vocal style that adds a touch of soul to every track. The Mix consists of Bobby B Wilson and Alex “South Side” Smith on guitars, Myron “Doctor Love” Robinson on drums, and Elijah Easton on saxophone.

 

          The first seven songs give the band plenty of room to stretch out, with “Wishbone” being the sole track to run less than seven minutes. That number is a perky shuffle with the singer enchanted by a woman of many attractions. The opener, “She Likes To Boogie,” rolls along for ten minutes with engaging solos from Easton, Smith, and Wilson, the band adding vocal support to Miller's efforts. The eleven minute “She Used To Love Me” makes it abundantly clear that the band knows its way around a slow blues. Miller moans and cries out his heartache, then turns it over to Easton, who blows a smokey tenor solo that builds to a frantic finish. Wilson also gets a chance to showcase his fretboard dexterity.

 

          “Let's Go Fishing” is a celebration of one of Miller's favorite pastimes over a resounding beat from Robinson. The pace slows once again on “Blow A Kiss,” a tender ballad complete with a touching, soulful vocal from the leader. The longest track, “Biscuit Gets Funky For Mr. James Brown,” boasts a title that tells you everything you need to know about an instrumental workout that was probably more memorable live, in person. “Black Eyed Peas And Cornbread” finds Miller and Robinson setting up a deep groove as the singer describes his search for some down-home cooking, pretty women, whiskey, and the promise of good times.

 

          On the final two songs, Miller is joined by two artists who were part of the festival line-up. “AG And Funky B” pairs Miller with his former boss, guitarist Anthony Gomes, on a hard-edged strut with the two trading vocals as the song fades out. The grand finale is a shout-out to another of Miller's former employers. Titled “Tribute Jam For Mr. Lonnie Brooks,” the song actually starts off as “Watchdog,” a classic Brooks tune. The band and Gomes get after it, causing such a stir that Christone “Kingfish” Ingram can't help but grab his guitar and join in, making it a memorable showdown as the four guitarists trade licks to the delight of the crowd.

 

          If you have never experienced Biscuit Miller and the Mix, this live show certainly demonstrates that the group has earned their reputation as a blues band that delivers solid music without skimping on the entertainment factor.  To quote the late Godfather of Soul, you're “...Gonna have a funky good time!”.

 

Biscuit Miller's disc can be purchased at the North Atlantic Blues Festival website: HERE

 

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