Illinois’ The Kilborn Alley Blues Band repeats the mantra "You’ve got to lay it down" on the southern tinged track "Lay It Down" off of their swinging disc, Tear Chicago Down. And, that is exactly what The Kilborn Alley Blues Band does for just under an hour, laying down big, fat, juicy bite of primo Chicago big-band blues compositions one after another. Kudos go to producer Nick Moss for capturing the nervous drive in KABB while sustaining the quintet’s flawless sense of rhythm and soul.
Pick a number, whether it’s the haunting "Christmas in County" or the straight ahead rocker, "Redneck in a Soul Band," and KABB delivers the goods, full of Joe Asselin’s free-flow harmonica and Gerry Hundt’s organic keyboard runs. Singer Andrew Duncanson sets ’em up and knocks ’em down with vigor and aplomb, interjecting his big, swaggering wail into "Fire with Fire" and "Crazier Things." Yet, it is Chris Breen’s fluid bass lines mixing with Josh Stimmel’s staccato bursts on guitar and Ed O’Hara’s steady downbeats that provides the glue for KABB.
Tear Chicago Down is a must for any discerning blues aficionado’s collection. The Kilborn Alley Blues Band keeps it real, and turns up the amps to properly electrify their sizzling celebration of Chicago-based big-band blues.
Tear Down Chicago is out now on Blue Bella.