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Vintage jump blues

Wailin' Daddy
Wailin' Daddy
By the Johnny Nocturne Band

Bullseye Blues / Rounder Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the January 29, 1993 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

A throwback to the R&B dance bands of the late '40s and early '50s, the Johnny Nocturne Band features some of the best ensemble horn blowing and small combo jazz-based R&B out there today. (Although there is no "Johnny Nocturne.") When you add in the vocals of Brenda Boykin, who wails and growls like Jeannie Cheatham or a young Aretha Franklin, this Bay Area outfit steps to the top of the jump blues A-list.

The songs on this album are mostly classics, written by the likes of Leiber/Stoller and Jackie Mabley. The arrangements are Kansas City-tight.

In fact, if you didn't know better, you might swear that this album was recorded at least 45 years ago at a jam session with sidemen from the Basie, Louis Jordan and Jay McShann bands.