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Blues to brood by

See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
By the James Solberg Band

Atomic Theory Records: 1995

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This review first appeared in the November 17, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

The James Solberg Band plays what can best be called existentialist blues – blues the way Albert Camus might have played them. It's dark, with a brooding quality about it, a surrealistic sense of hopelessness that is leavened only by the artistic beauty of the musicianship of a top-notch band performing deeply depressing compositions with vision and virtuosity.

Solberg is a longtime veteran of Luther Allison's band, and the blues here is similar stylistically to that of his mentor: electric Chicago blues ranging from midtempo shuffles to out and out rockers that tear along at breakneck speed.

Solberg is a first-rate guitarist; the combinations of his razor-sharp sound on guitar and H-Bomb Vegas' Hammond B-3 give the band a distinct sound. His raspy voice provides just the right complement to the instrumental work. The song selection – a handful of originals and covers of tunes by Allison, Junior Wells and soul star Latimer – is outstanding.