Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ben Rice Band - Pour Me Some Whiskey


Wave riders, you rock blues aficionados may know The Ben Rice Band if only for their bridesmaid finishes in music competitions and blues awards.  However, there is no question about the Band’s twelve track release, Pour Me Some Whiskey.  It is an absolute winner.

I was introduced to Ben Rice and The Ben Rice Band by a Duck.  The CD was sent to me by my daughter who attends the University of Oregon. Ben Rice hails from Newberg, Oregon and she saw the band perform in or about  Eugene.  She was sufficiently moved to send me the CD. Once I heard it and checked out video of the band’s performances, I understand why she was so moved to actually send the album to me.

Imagine Robert Randolph and Joe Bonamassa merged into one person  playing with Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom and you get an idea of the style of The Ben Rice Band. It is hard rocking blues driven music.  Some critics have called it “Rockabilly, Swamp Rock, and Soul infused Country” although the Band’s publicity says, for Ben, it “is the kitchen sink of Blues mixed with his band mate’s influences of Punk, Hip-Hop, and Classic Rock.”  All of those descriptions are apt summations of what you hear on Pour Me Some Whiskey.  Ben Rice sings and plays dobro, lap steel and a cigar box guitar.  He also occasionally plays bass.  Tommy Rice plays a stand-up bass and Ryan Rustrum plays`drums.  On the CD Paul Biondi is also given credit for providing horn tracks.

Ben is the songwriter and he writes a mean song  The album has everything from a self-described “Johnny Cash meets Motörhead” hard rock  - Wreck On You; a Stax/Volt Memphis soul - I Know You Love Me;. a fast swing jump blues - Chop You Up; a delta bluesman-inspired Mississippi Bayou music  -  Don’t Worry Mama; and every a rockin’ blues sound you will likely not find anywhere else.

As much as the Band’s music stands up by itself, I am told, and their video confirms, their live shows are a blast.  Ben Rice’s slide and fret work is superb. Tommy Rice is a madman on stage, twirling, spinning, standing on, and occasionally setting fire to his bass. Ryan Rustrum sometimes comes out from behind the kit and drums on the strings of the bass while Tommy frets the notes.

My daughter is right.  You should take a gander at The Ben Rice Band and Pour Me Some Whiskey.

- Old School

1 comment:

RW said...

Saw these guys last night in Eugene. Absolutely brilliant! live blues performance I've seen in years.
If you get a chance to see them, don't miss it.

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