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Ricky Gene Hall & The Goods


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Ricky Gene Hall & The Goods - Bam! - 2008 - Yard Dawg

Ever since the Fabulous Thunderbirds scored a few hits in the '80s, there have been very few bands that managed to merge tasty and authentic-sounding blues licks with mainstream rock. That is, until Ricky Gene Hall & the Goods came along with 2008's Bam! The group (comprised of singer/guitarist Hall as well as bassist Tom Martin and drummer Rocky Evans) is not a bunch of young bucks -- which is something that the bandmembers actually work to their advantage. In other words, they've obviously studied the blues masters over the years, as evidenced by such spacious tracks as "Real Fine Woman," yet can also get funny and funky, as heard on the album's standout album-opener, "Way I Feel." Modern-day mainstream blues-rock has become an increasingly dicey proposition in recent times, but there a select number of acts still manage to get it right. And as evidenced by Bam!, Ricky Gene Hall & the Goods certainly know what they're doing. © Greg Prato © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/bam-r1432153

Listen, you have to take a guy seriously who funds his musical endeavors by driving a semi packed full of pig feed. Meet Ricky Gene Hall, in his other guise, driving a hot band to some fevered musical destinations. And that ain't pig feed. Born in 1958 into a music loving family in Kentucky, later moving to Ohio, Hall comes to his music by way of classic blues, bluegrass and traditional rock 'n' roll, but his professional musical odyssey has found him crossing paths with all sorts of roots-centric bands before enlisting drummer/percussionist Rocky Evans and bassist/harmony vocalist Tom Martin to join him in his current configuration some two years ago. BAM!, the group's second album, reveals much about where Hall comes from—geographically as well as musically—and is right in the pocket for those who love blues and blues-influenced tunes done straight, no chaser, with soul to burn. Appropriately enough for the times, downsizing is one of BAM!'s principal themes. Not downsizing as in losing your job, mind you, but in ways the instruction manual perhaps overlooks. In "Way I Feel," the funky, big backbeat workout kicking off the album, Ricky finds a revenge-minded ex-wife is downsizing him bit by bit—"took everything but the change in my pocket/and I guess she had a little somethin' she wanted me to hold on to"; the next song, "Noth'n at All" (can you see this coming?), a slab of tough, grinding blues keyed by Ricky Gene's stinging, opening guitar solo, our man goes into Walter Mitty mode, imagining all the abundant treasures and high life he could enjoy if he "had it all"—instead, we find he's been a long time downsized kinda fella ("ain't had nothin' at all; I ain't had nothin'"). In the frisky rhythmic strut of "Just My Luck," Hall recounts a budding liaison with a gal who stipulates he reign in (downsize, if you will) some of his bad habits (perpetual tardiness, a wandering eye when it comes to ladies, other minor offenses) if he wants her to reciprocate his passion. In Delbert McClinton's infectious, syncopated R&B grinder, "Read Me My Rights," his domestic status is about to be downsized by one as his woman prepares to walk out on him—leaving him to plead, "Before you do me wrong tonight/baby, baby, read me my rights," a cry given a little extra urgency by Hall's rich guitar commentary and sputtering, moaning harmonica punctuations. In the hard charging title track, Ricky recounts the hard-luck tale of a fellow whose verbosity keeps getting him downsized, from the loss of teeth as a mouthy child to growing up and saying "I do" to the wrong person, leading him to the inescapable conclusion that "silence is golden/talk is cheap/if you open up your mouth you'll be in trouble deep." Just when it seems RGH is a most woebegone sort, he begs to differ, with searing slide guitar work and a gritty vocal that put a new coat of paint on Jerry Reed's irresistible "Amos Moses," enjoying every minute of the Guitar Man's vivid evocation of the bayou character's misadventures (he was downsized by an alligator, if memory serves), complete with a taste of the distinctive Reed-style "claw" pickin'. And for sheer heart, blues ballads don't get much deeper than Hall's surging "This Old Guitar." Yes, it's a tribute to his axe, but it's no less sincere than B.B. King's encomiums to Lucille—and you can hear some affection returned when Hall cuts out on a thick, crying solo. Speaking of B.B., the album closing "Blues Leave Me Too," a slow, ruminative 12-bar heartbreaker, documents in words, in several pungent, stinging single-string howls and cries, and in Hall's impressively aggrieved accusations, the kind of mean mistreater who's shown up in the King of the Blues's narratives for the past half century. Well, some things are timeless, and it sounds like Ricky Gene Hall & The Goods are well positioned for a long run telling the truth about them all. © David McGee © 2009 TheBluegrassSpecial.com http://www.thebluegrassspecial.com/archive/2009/february2009/hallrickygenefeb09.php
“Don’t let your mouth write checks that your rear-end can’t cash!” Those are the words said to me whenever I would get a little too big for my britches. You may have heard something similar; after all, it is a universal theme. Kentucky born, now Ohio resident Ricky Gene Hall is well knowledgeable about the concept as humorously expressed in the title track to his second CD on Yard Dawg Records: “When I was just a school boy out on the school playground / The schoolyard bully liked to push everyone around / One day I got the nerve, and the words fell from my mouth / Now it’s hard to speak with my two teeth knocked out / (Chorus)BAM! I was in it, and it hardly took a minute for things to take a sudden turn of the worse / I know I won’t forget it, and it’s high time I admit it / At times I know this mouth of mine is surely sometimes cursed / Silence is golden; talk is cheap / Your mouth can make a promise that you can’t keep!” “Bam” is what I call “Southern Blues-Rock.” While the music is not “Blues” enough to satisfy purists, it is neither Country enough nor Rock enough for those purists either. It is thankfully blues and roots based, mixing Roots Rock, Blues, Country, and Swamp Funk. Hall sings in an endearing gravel-drawl, wrote nine of the twelve songs, and plays guitar and harmonica that clearly lean on 12-bar influences. Tom Martin on bass and Rocky Evans on drums round out the roadhouse trio. Similarities to Delbert McClinton can be heard, especially in the likeable vocals on the McClinton/Johnny Neal-penned “Read Me My Rights.” It is a syncopated beat with Hall’s slippery slide guitar underscoring. He also blows some nice harp on this track. A cover of Huey Lewis’ “Bad Is Bad” is a surprise almost as big as Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses.” Both are at least better than the over reaching “Revelation Radio” which dabbles in Gospel while telling of a preacher with a black belt. The real strength of the CD is in the original tracks. Hall kicks off the album with some fine Country Rock tunes “Way I Feel” and “Noth’n At All” that define the style. “Real Fine Woman” is perfect for dancing a boozy shuffle with bottle in hand. “This Old Guitar” slows the tempo to showcase a ballad full of metaphor. Blues fans should enjoy the set closer “Blues Leave Me Too,” a slow number with sweet guitar licks. Fans of the Parnell brothers, Lee Roy and Rob Roy, as well as Delbo and Lew Jetton will welcome Ricky Gene Hall into their club. Indeed, there is plenty here to enjoy, especially for folks who spent the 1970s pleasurably in the Southern Rock camp. © James "Skyy Dobro" Walker © http://www.illinoisblues.com/2007 http://www.illinoisblues.com/bluesartists/rickeyhall.htm

Kentucky born Ricky Gene Hall is a very good guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. Nine of the 12 tracks on the album were penned by him. At times the music and often humorous lyrics are reminiscent of John Fogerty. This is a well above average album of Southern style blues, rock, country, and swamp funk played by a great musician backed by a good tight band. Buy the band's 2007 s/t album and promote real music

TRACKS

1 Way I Feel
2 Noth'n at All
3 Bam Hall
4 Real Fine Woman
5 Amos Moses - Jerry Hubbard
6 Just My Luck
7 This Old Guitar
8 Read Me My Rights - Delbert McClinton, Johnny Neal
9 Revelation Radio
10 Bad Is Bad - A. Call, J. Ciambotti, S. Hopper, H. Lewis, J. McFee, M. Schreiner
11 Postman
12 Blues Leave Me To

All songs composed by Ricky Gene Hall except where stated

MUSICIANS

Ricky Gene Hall - Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Harmonica, Slide Guitar, Vocals
Tom Martin Guitar - (Bass), Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Bernie Nau - Guest Appearance, Organ, Organ (Hammond)
Rocky Evans - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Tony Hall - Guest Appearance, Vocal Harmony, Vocals
Brent Hall - Guest Appearance, Vocals

BIO

Ricky Gene Hall was born in Pikeville, KY in 1958. Hall's father worked in the coal mines, and his family and friends urged him to get out of the mines before they killed him. He headed north, thinking about a job on a Detroit auto assembly line, but found a job running a junkyard in Tiffin, OH, and took it. Ricky Gene Hall and his older brother Mike, who was born on November 4, 1956, were fanatical about music from an early age. They started playing guitar together when Ricky was seven and Mike was nine. On Sundays the Halls would visit their father's guitar playing friend, Buster Parsons; he taught the boys basic chords, time keeping, and how to play slide guitar with a Zippo lighter or pocket knife. When the Hall brothers decided to start a band, a neighbor with some music business experience helped them get their act together. He told Mike to play bass and Ricky to play lead guitar and sing. They recruited a friend named Bradley Carr Keys to sit in on drums. By the time Ricky Hall was 10, the Hall Keys Hall combo was playing school dances and weddings, making good money for teenagers. Ricky's grammar school teacher, Louis Nye, turned him onto Edgar Winter & White Trash, Jimmy Reed, the Allman Brothers, Ray Charles, Hank Williams, and other records that influenced his playing. The band gravitated toward the blues, but adjusted their repertoire, which was all covers at the time, to their audience. They offered a wide range of pop, rock, blues, boogie, country, and rock. By high school they were playing a couple of gigs every weekend. If a song had a steady groove built around 7ths, they could play it. Their high point was landing a slot on the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. The band came to an end just before the trio was going to graduate from high school, when Keys was killed in an auto accident. After getting out of high school Mike Hall drifted away from music, Ricky went on the road as a freelancer, playing in a lot of rock clubs with a lot of rock bands, and did some touring with popular Top 40 groups. During the late '70s and mid-'80s, the drinking age in Ohio was 18, and every town had a rock club or two with live music on the weekend. A four-piece could make a few grand a week, and Hall enjoyed his life as a touring musician. He made a few solo singles of his own blues-rock compositions, but mainly played in cover bands until the mid-'80s, when Ohio raised the drinking age to 21. Overnight the teen rock clubs went under. From 1985 to 1990 Hall drove a semi, although he kept his chops up. In 1990, he landed a job on South Bass Island in the town of Put-In-Bay, the summer base of Pat Dailey. Hall played in a bar just up the street from the Dailey's haunt, the Beer Barrel Saloon, putting in three hours a day, seven days a week, during the summers between 1990 and 1994. During the winter he drove a semi. In 2000, Hall got serious about his musical career. He used his truck driving money to acquire vintage recording equipment and went about building his own small studio. He also decided to go back to his given name Ricky Gene Hall. Growing up around a junkyard had made him self-conscious about his hillbilly origins, and he went by the name of Rick Hall, but when he decided to become a working blues musician, he embraced his roots. When he'd completed building his studio, he put together Ricky Gene Hall & the Blues Healers, a tight guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard outfit with a two-piece horn section. In 2004, they cut Ricky Gene Hall & the Blues Healers on Hall's own Yard Dog logo. In 2005, Hall concentrated on his songwriting. He booked a studio in Nashville and made a bluesy solo album that went unreleased. He shopped it heavily, but the record didn't ignite any label interest. One of the players he hired for the sessions, however, was Columbus, OH bass player Tom Martin. Martin majored in tuba when he went to music school, but went back to the bass after graduation. He'd composed, recorded, and arranged music for film, TV, and radio, and, like Hall, spent decades touring with countless bands. Martin introduced Hall to Arkansas native Rocky Evans, a drummer who also sings and plays guitar and piano. Like Martin, he was interested in starting a blues band. After a formal business meeting with Hall, they signed on and agreed to do at least two albums as Ricky Gene Hall & the Goods. Hall moved to Columbus to be near his bandmates and set up his studio in a dilapidated downtown building. In 2007, the new band spent the summer writing, rehearsing, and recording their debut Ricky Gene Hall & the Goods. The album got good reviews, charted on the Roots Music Report and got played on the syndicated radio show Blues Deluxe, introducing their sound -- a winning blend of blues and boogie with a slight country accent -- to a national audience. For BAM! in 2008, the band cut a less traditional album, with more humor, a slight blues-rock edge and winning covers of Huey Lewis' "Bad Is Bad" and Jerry Reed's "Amos Moses." They picked up a national distribution deal and the indie label Blind Raccoon helped them out with publicity. The band hopes to take things to the next level with their next album, due sometime in 2009. Meanwhile, Hall has moved out to the country and is busy reassembling his studio in his barn, when he's not hauling semis full of pigs feet around the state. © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ricky-gene-hall-p1001224/biography

5 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

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bobbysu said...

thank you so much

guinea pig said...

Thanks!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,GP (No.1). How are you? Glad you like album. Thanks as usual & ttu soon

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks,bobbysu.You are very welcome and thanks for your time and interest. TTU soon!