The departure of NY’s own, Michael Hill from Alligator Records seems
to have added creative breath to Michael’s Blues Mob, because this
release is monstrous! From the opening notes of the high energy,
“Heat on the Highway” to the optimistic final track, “Blessings” this album is a complete winner!
The band’s vocal prowess from the Mob is immediately evident on the
opening, “Heat on the Highway”. It’s pedal to the metal, ala
“The Doors” (keep your eyes on the road and your hands behind the
wheel) mode, and Michael’s soaring guitar work has the potential of
having a State Trouper issue him a speeding ticket! The super
quick changes and jazz chords on, “Haunted” offer great guitar
overdubs, more fine vocals, and is a dynamite crafted song by Mr. Hill.
“Terrible Twos” features great B3 and keyboard work from E.J. Sarpe,
more cutting guitar, and has a beautiful ending segment. Stunning
& vivid lyrics about Thomas Jefferson’s affair with his young
slave, issues countless chord changes, and is a chilling story, making
“Monticello Nights” a very memorable performance! You will
both smile and blush on the hilarious, “Under Cover”, just listen to
the lyrics. The great groove and lyrics on, “Larger Than Life”
is about money, and it’s so soulful & warm, and painfully true.
Listen to Michael rip through P-Funk’s/George Clinton’s, “Cosmic
Slop”. The jazzy, “Millie Jackson Love” is a pleasant and
welcome addition to this fine disc. “Big Top Shuffle” features
young Seth Hill (Michael’s son?) during the intro, and kicks into
overdrive, with a 007 like interlude of, “The Spy Who Loves Me” is
one of this albums many great guitar solo performances! The
album’s bluesiest electric track, “Partner in Crime” fully
entertains with fun lyrics about how male/female opposites attract, and
than Michael really gets on down, and delivers the goods.
“Bundle of Joy” is a traditional acoustic duo of harp (David
Barnes), and guitar, is a witty tale about a ladies biological clock
ticking. The disc closes in a calypso/African kind of mood on,
“Blessings”, with optimistic thoughts and lyrics. I loved
Michael’s lyrical line of, “Let Nobody Take Your Freedom Away!”
By the sounds of Michael’s vocal delivery and performance throughout
this whole recording, no one has taken Michael’s freedom anywhere!
This is a Great recording! Future Blues? Perhaps. But
definitely a serious outing by one of our local good guys, Michael Hill.
It’s all here folks, top notch musicianship, superb song writing,
tremendous vocals, outstanding production, and to top it off, the sound
on this disc is one of the highest audiophile blues recording I have
Should you go out and buy, Michael Hill, Blues Mob’s, “Suite:
Larger Than Life”? Absolutely!!!