Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Blues cult hero Walter T. Higgs, in front of what
BLUES REVUE quite correctly termed "an outrageously talented band"
featuring Austin all-stars such as guitarist Derek O'Brien, sax star
Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff, guitarist Johnny Moeller and keyboardist/producer
Riley Osbourn, rips it up from first note to last, combining
hard-blowing harp heroics with honest, heartfelt vocals.
All the of the songs are Higgs' originals, and many of the tracks clock in around the three minute mark, leaving no time or space for anything but strong and sincere statements. The songs reflect Higgs' ability to effectively meld all hues of blues, from the easy-rolling, autobiographical opener "Just A Few Miles To Go", to the gumbo groove of "See Ya Real Soon", to the jumping jive of "Shake Shuffle Shimmy", and finally to the horn-powered funk of the closing cut "Keep It Going On". Higgs fronts a talented cast of the blues elite of Austin, drawn primarily from the internationally renowned Austin blues club, Antone's. Combining decades of blues experience, veterans include venerated guitarist Derek O'Brien, producer/keyboardist Riley Osbourn, and the master rhythm section of drummer George Raines and bassist Larry Fulcher. The recording also thrives with the flair of guitarist Johnny Moeller, percussionists James Fenner and Bradley Williams, and the horn section of Mark Kazanov, Les Izmore, and Jimmy Shortell. This assortment of provincial performers perfectly frames Higgs' raspy world-traveled voice and soulful harp soloing. "Just A Few Miles To Go" proves that Texas blues music, when treated with respect for its pedigree and aspirations, remains vital and viable. "Just A Few Miles To Go" is truly music played real and from the soul.