From the Bluesletter - WA Blues Society 8/2003
The Trouble Boys
Blues All Over
Last chance Records, Seattle, WA
Recorded at Jimmy Free Recordings, Shorline WA
Reviewed by Robert Horn
There are a number of blues bands in the State of Washington who toured the
region or the country a long time ago and then got busy (raising families,
individual projects, playing in other bands, etc). Some of those bands connect again years later and find they have missed playing together and realize they had created something really special when they did belong to the same band.
This is one of those bands. They have roots in Seattle's music history. John Hanberry (guitar & vocals), George Mizobe Johnson (drums, harmonica, vocals), met each other in 1973 and performed in local nightspots. In 1975 they formed a band called Metropolis with Joe Centenero (keyboards & vocals). A couple years later they started working with Jimmy Free (bass, vocals & guitar) and formed a band called Back to Back and toured the west coast for the next three years.
In 1999 they came back together. There was a lot of individual history of the 20 years not covered in this CD review but that will have to wait for future potential feature articles in the coming years. What will be covered here is what lead to this CD. For 6 months they hosted a blues jam every Wednesday at Legends in West Seattle. Off of that they got bookings at other places in the area. Now in 2003 they have released a CD called Blues All Over. This is their declaration that they are ready for you. Keep your eyes out for listings of The Trouble Boys in future Bluesletters.
The first cut on the CD is "Trouble Boys" and is the kind of blues ya gotta get on the dance floor with. The second one is " Still Not Satisfied" and they could have made a few dollars if they sold this one to Tommy Castro. It sounds like it's right down Tommy's alley. The forth song is "Once in A Lifetime." It is a slow dance song with good rhythm. Keep this one in mind if you go to catch them live and are with someone you want to be real close to. The fifth one here is my favorite one musically. It is "You're Not Tellin' The Truth" and is a pleasure to listen to and dance to. This one is so much fun that Attorney General Ashcroft may campaign against it on the grounds that it is too much fun and there must be something illegal about having this much fun.
Some other songs include "Evil Eye," "Cut You Loose," "Roll Back Those Blankets," "Water On My Fire," and "Blues All Over." There are 11 songs here and they are all good, all blues, and all can be danced to. The guitar work is good and the horn arrangements they included added a lot. I talked to George Johnson (drummer, blues harp, and vocals for the band) at the Fremont Fair a little and he said the band has taken blues in a stylistic direction of their own. Listening to it though, it has to still qualify as
and I think that is good. That's the music I love the most and I am glad they are part of the local blues scene. Get out there and hear them live. If you want me to come along my number is on the 2nd page of the Bluesletter.