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Johnny Moeller & Paul Size - Return of the Funky Worm (1996)

21-05-2015, 07:27
Music | Blues | Rock

Johnny Moeller & Paul Size - Return of the Funky Worm (1996)

Artist: Johnny Moeller & Paul Size
Title Of Album: Return of the Funky Worm
Year Of Release: 1996
Label: Dallas Blues
Genre: Blues, Modern Electric Blues, Texas Blues
Format: Mp3
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 40:35 Min
Total Size: 103 Mb


1. Sweet Sugar You
2. Return Of The Funky Worm
3. I Stand Accused
4. Dallas
5. Watch My
6. Nates' Song
7. Stand Up
8. Hop On
9. My Backscratcher
10. Hot Potatoes
11. Three Day Binge
12. Right Now

If you don't know Johnny Moeller or Paul Size here's a chance to catch them together. This recording built around in-studio jams and produced by the Dallas Blues Society in 1996.

To call Johnny Moeller the latest in a long line of blazing Texas blues guitarists tells only part of the story. Even with the bona-fide blues juju Johnny casts over everything he plays, it's apparent that he listening to a much wider musical landscape, dragging all sorts of new ideas and influences into his blues. That's why even the most grizzled, thoroughly jaded blues hounds - people who've sacrificed much of their hearing digging hot licks for three or four decades - sit up and take notice when Johnny unleashes one of his blistering, elegantly filthy solos. There's something fresh going on here, some spontaneous new combination of sounds taking place as one listens.
None of this will come as a suprise to listeners discerning enough to have checked out Johnny's preforming/recording output since he first started jamming as a teenager at Dallas blues clubs in the late 80's. His blues pedigree includes axe work on Darrell Nulisch's Texas Heat CD on Black Top, and on all of Darrell's subsequent soul/ blues releases. Johnny also played on Austin harpist/ singer Lewis Cowdrey's "It's Lewis" for the Anton's label. On his 1996 DBS Records release, Return of the Funky Worm, Johnny (with brother Jason and long time partner Paul Size) mixed blues with greasy funk, sounding like some missing link between the Ohio Players, Grant Green and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Currently, Moeller alternates with Derek O'Brien as lead guitarist in Lou Ann Barton's band, with time off to back swampmeister Lazy Lester and Beaumont soul legend Richard Earl at Europe's Blues Estefette Festival 2000.
What is the distinctive guitar tone Johnny's evolved over the years, tempering his tough, raucous Texas blues edge with a Gulf Coast swampiness. He dredges up a dark, corkscrew-spiraling wah-wah solo on "J's Scratcher" and his ferocious, spitting chords fuel the band's slow-grind take on Memphis Slim's "Mama, the Way You Look Tonight." Two instrumentals put Moellers' bursting-at-the seams riffs front and center, with "Bak 'n' Forf" recalling Guitar Gable's "Congo Mambo," while "Slingin' Hash" smokes right along like some mutant hybrid of Wes Montgomery and Hollywood Fats. Or check out the way Johnny's gleefully guttural guitar locks down on the shuffle rhythm of Jimmy Reed's "You Got Me Crying" like a pit bull with a postman's leg in his mouth.
Other highlights include Johnny's swamp-drenched, crying axework on "You Turn to Cry," A Roy Head tune brought to the sessions by guest vocalist (and one-man band) Homer Henderson. Homer also unearthed the obscure rockabilly gem "Oh Baby Oh," given a charging shuffle treatment here by the band, anchored throughout by Jason Moeller on drums. Keyboard virtuoso Matt Farrell (who currently plays with the Keller Bros. Band, along with bassist Mike Keller) contributes wailing vocals on most cuts from the Morris Pejoe rocker "Let's Get High" to Big Maceo Merriwether's (by way of Ray Charles) "Worried Life Blues." Jason takes the mike for his self-penned Slim Harpo / Frank Frost tribute, "J's Scratcher," and the Johnny "Guitar" Watson opus work is courtesy of Johnny Bradley, who, along with both Moeller brothers, forms the nucleus of Louann Barton's backup band these days.
Johnny's Blues Aggregation showcases a pack of seasoned Texas blues buddies bolstering Johnny Moeller's leap from sideman to spotlight. Cut live at Billy Horton's Fort Horton Studios in Austin, with everybody together in one room, this latest DBS Records release is the very antithesis of "studio-itis" - that mysterious process by which laboring overlong on recorded music sucks the sweat, grit and life right out of it. No, what we have is the latest living example of Texas blues reinventing itself yet again, and miraculously finding something fresh to say in the process - and Johnny's got the vocabulary of buzzing, stinging licks to put the message across loud and clear.

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