Grady Champion – Bootleg Whiskey

Grady Champion – Bootleg Whiskey
Malaco Records – MCD 7546
New blues is a gutsy genre to tackle these days as the cynics will say it has all been done before. Don’t bother telling Grady Champion that. Raised deep in the belly of Delta blues territory in Canton, MS, Grady has already been stirring up crowds from Chicago to NOLA, and “Bootleg Whiskey” is a great exclamation point as to why. Although some songs such as the rollicking first track “Beg, Borrow or Steal” have a sort of happy feel, you can tell he definitely lives and feels the blues. Some of the songs have a bit of jazzier instrumentation to them bordering on Motown, but when Grady cuts loose on down and dirty shuffles like “Don’t Waste My Time” and “Who Dat” it can send shivers down your spine. He definitely has a more versatile voice than some blues-smiths, throttling back with an easy groove at times, and then belting out the pain as in “Ten Dollars.” The players who back him are all excellent and Grady also showcases his prodigious chops on the harmonica. Grady and some other contemporaries prove that not only is blues music far from dead, it is alive and smokin’! – MW



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