PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © July 2016
Since this is his fifth release, it appears that Sammy Eubanks has managed to fly under the Blewzzman's radar. With that said, "Sugar Me" impressed me enough to make sure I do try get my hands on the other four.
The album consists of ten tracks that include three originals and seven re-arranged covers. On it, Sammy Eubanks on vocals and guitar, is joined by: Darren Theriault on bass; Bob Britt and Matt Hauer on guitars; Chris Kimmerer on drums; and Reese Wynans and Scott Saunders on keyboards.
On the opening track, one of Sammy's originals, he tells us how - as a young boy - he was influenced by the records he heard his father playing. Artists like: BB King; Elvis; Johnny; Jerry Lee; Ray Charles; and his father himself, Jesse James Eubanks. As Sammy says it, "It's All Blues To Me". The guitar worshippers will love this one.
Having experienced most of the sexual revolution as a single man, I thought I pretty much heard - and even used - some of the craziest pick up lines of all time. With that said, when it came to walking up to a woman and saying; "You ought to 'Stop That Grinnin', drop some denim, let's get it on"; Sammy, and the late Skeeter Brandon (the songs writer), obviously had bigger balls than I do. Tell me Sammy, exactly how did that pan out? Fun, frolicking shuffle with Matt, Chris and Reese killing it on rhythm.
Sammy's rendition of "Blues All Morning" is a cornucopia of musical styles. The vocals are soulful, the rhythm's funky, the guitar leads are scorching and the beat will have you on your feet. The dancers will be all over this one.
"No Excuse For The Blues", is not only one of the discs best blues tracks but it features several performers at disc's best as well. Using some diverse vocal range, Sammy's on top of his game right here; rhythm wise, Chris is killing it on the drums; Reese is showing you why everybody wants him playing piano in their band; and although the guitarists are making no excuse for the blues, they're certainly cranking it out.
With country being another one of his favorite music genres, Sammy does a stellar job on Mark Collie's top ten hit, "Born To Love You". From the songs familiar, sing along lyrics; to the way they're being sung; to the outstanding acoustic picking; to the masterful slide guitar chords; this one is absolutely beautifully done.
Another of Sammy's originals is a track called "I'm Gonna Leave You". It's a clever track that plays on the "You can't fire me because I quit" and "You can't quit because you're fired" routine. You see, Sammy's woman is threatening to leave him but the way he sees it, he's leaving her if she doesn't come back.....and if he leaves she won't be coming back. Confused? Just like two tough guys threatening back and forth to kick each others butts but no one ever throws a punch, I don't think either one of these two really wants to leave. My advice? Get right to the make up sex and move on.
Other tracks on "Sugar Me" include: "I Just Wanna Make Love To You", "My Baby's Gone", "Sugar Me" and "It's My Life Baby" .
Sammy's website is www.SammyEubanksLive.com. Please pay him a visit and as usual, tell him the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping The Blues Alive Award Recipient
REFLECTIONS IN BLUE
Underworld Records UND0026
The opening number, "All Blues To Me," caught my attention in so many more ways than one. Years ago I had the honor of befriending and performing on rare occasions with a gentleman who had performed with the Count Basie Orchestra. When asked if he would like to play with a local blues act, he was anxious to sit in. The result was glorious but his response was puzzling. He stated: "That's jazz, man!" Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Junior Wells...he saw it all as jazz. It didn't matter what he chose to call it, he played it beautifully. Sammy Eubanks comes from that place where blues and country music live in harmony. A masterful guitarist, great songwriter and possessing a voice that is well suited for the blues, dripping with soul and raw emotional power, Sammy plays it straight from the heart. Backing him on this recording are Darren Theriault on bass, Bob Britt on guitars, Matt Hauer on guitars, Chris Kimmerer on drums, Reese Wynans on keyboards and Scott Saunders on keys (cut 5). Sugar Me consists of 3 Sammy Eubanks originals and 7 well-chosen covers. The band is tight, everyone doing his part without the need for showboating. This allows Sammy to do the job he does so well. Reminiscent of Delbert McClinton, Eubanks and company tell their stories, backed by some of the finest music I've heard. Bottom line...it doesn't get any better than this. The originals are wonderfully done and the covers are done in such a way that Eubanks makes them his own. This is his fifth recording to date and is definitely a keeper. From tune to tune and style to style this album flows effortlessly. With a timeless style that will never grow old, this is an album that could be put on the player and listened to throughout the day. It is one of those pieces I found myself listening to over and over, hearing something new with every listen. Sammy Eubanks is a tasteful player who chooses his notes carefully. Not a note is wasted. This makes for a sound that is very deliberate and always right on the mark. Check it out. In the digital age there are always samples to give the potential buyer a good chance to check out the goods. I don't think you will be disappointed. -- Bill Wilson
Country Blues singer/guitarist Sammy Eubanks gives his fifth album as a leader plenty of pizzazz. With ten fiery selections, he extends his reputation as a strong bluesman who paints it cool and comfortable, keeping in touch with history while pushing the envelope some with his interpretations. Eubanks slides on guitar and sings with forward-thinking confidence while his band surrounds him with all the right colors. Organ, bass, drums, and backup guitars provide the right mood for each tale of woe and desire.
"Sugar Me" tells of an ideal situation where things go right. "I'm Gonna Leave You" travels in the opposite direction, and "All Blues to Me" reveals an autobiographical look at the leader's career. Originally from California and now making The Northwest his home, Eubanks travels all over, sharing his blues message as he goes. The music is comfortable and easy. His "party time" direction makes the session enjoyable and still wholesome. There's a lot of philosophy in those lyrics, and bluesmen like Sammy Eubanks know how to convince. The rhythms flow and the harmonies create a suitable mood for the lyrics that keep you involved from start to finish.
-- Jim Santella
BMAN'S BLUES REPORT
I just received the newest release, Sugar Me, from Sammy Eubanks, and it's got a definite southern link. Opening with It's All Blues To Me, Sammy Eubanks, singer/guitarist, leads the charge with a track that is of Charlie Daniels and Tinsley Ellis. Country styling and rock overtones, this is a cool opener. Stop That Grinnin has a super blues drive, Elmore James style, with particularly cool work from Eubanks, Matt Hauer and Bob Britt and strong piano riffs from Reese Wynans. Darren Theriault handles the bass and Chris Kimmerer the drums. Very cool. Blues All Mornin' has a real cool bass line and really sweet lead guitar work by Eubanks. Wynans' organ work is nicely saturated giving the track nice girth. Willie Dixon's I Just Wanna Make Love To You has a great boogie beat, sounding more like contemporary Foghat than original Dixon but I really like it... I mean...who doesn't love a boogie. Eubanks' vocals and slide work both shine on this track, making it one of my favorites on the release. Latin influenced, My Baby's Gone, has just the right mix of blues and rock, giving it a cool beach sound. Scott Saunders contributes keys on this track and Eubanks' guitar work is crisp and cool. Title track, Sugar Me, has a raspy guitar vamp giving the track a great edge. Clean guitar soloing over the top gives the track sting. Cool track! Excellent blues track, No Excuse For The Blues has a cool boogie woogie undertone and a strong strait forward drive by Wynans on piano sets the bar for Eubanks' lead solos. It's My Life Baby has a real nice upbeat stab by Kimmerer played against Theriault's bass line sets a terrific platform for solos by Wynans and Eubanks. Very cool! Opening with a Keith Richards like riff, I'm Gonna Leave You, is a rockin' closer. With strong bass lines from Theriault and a grinding guitar riff, Eubanks' vocals and guitar soloing work nicely to sum up this solid release.
SOUL BAG (FRANCE)
Underworld UND0026 / underworldindierecords.com
★★★ HOCKIH 'BLUES
Captures in Nashville, this ten-title emanates from I'un of these friendly American backpackers who like to dip their rock in blues and vice versa, but without lapsing into a thundering blues-rock. Three compositions and seven times has shown that sugar-dirty menu, which I'ecoute integrate, not surprisingly but very pleasant, allows a guide and tag well overseas travel. The inevitable passage through the country comes up with Bom to love you, but not the rest of depare I'album whose artistic I'unite proves coherent and witness an eclectic repertoire, as I'apprecient the truckers and customers passage countless clubs that dot the road. We even right has stoniens riffs late par- course. The voice high perch Sammy Eubanks, in the register of Huey Lewis is never taken into default. Note the presence of keyboardist Resse Wynans (SRV, Joe Bonamassa) Cloth still a bit full line-up and ultra-competent. Effective! MARC LOISON
JAZZ AND MORE SWITZERLAND
IL BLUES (ITALY)
KANSAS CITY BLUES SOCIETY
by Craig Whittington, KCBS member
Sammy Eubanks Sugar Me (Underworld Records)
Sammy has a pretty good CD. He’s based out of Washington state, so an unknown except in that location. He has 3 originals and 7 covers here. Reese Wynans on Keys. Sammy plays fine lead guitar and a better than average vocal ability. While this is mostly blues to blues rock lite, he covers a country tune on here that I’m sure is his “everybody to the dance floor belly rubber”. I like the opener, "It's All Blues to Me." Sammy comes across as very humble, no raging rockstar, the guy you want as your friend and neighbor. This is his 5th album and his biggest production . I like his musical taste and chops and hope this guy makes it bigger. I’m sure everybody has heard the one about how to make a million bucks playing the blues?….you start with two million. Its funny, but too close to home.
10 tracks, 34 min.
BLUES BYTES FRIDAY BLUES FIX BLOG
Sugar Me (Underworld Records) is Eubanks’ fifth release and shows the multiple sides of his musical persona. Blues fans will enjoy his covers of tunes previously heard from Skeeter Brandon (“Stop That Grinnin’”), Muddy Waters (“I Just Wanna Make Love To You”), and Bobby Bland’s “It’s My Life Baby.” Blues rockers will dig his cover of Los Lobos’ “My Baby’s Gone.” Country music fans will recognize Mark Collie’s “Born To Love You,” but Eubanks’ interpretation will satisfy listeners on both sides of the aisle. Eubanks’ swinging take on David Kirk Stewart’s “No Excuse For The Blues” falls into this category as well. He also covers Indigenous’s “Blues All Mornin,” giving it more of a soul reading than the original.
Eubanks’ three originals include the sweet title track, which showcases his guitar playing along with his singing, the southern rock-flavored opening autobiographical cut, “All Blues To Me,” and the rocking closer, “I’m Gonna Leave You.” He’s backed by a solid set of Nashville-based musicians (Darren Theriault – producer/bass, Bob Britt and Matt Hauer – guitars, Chris Kimmerer – drums, Scott Saunders – keyboards), plus former SRV keyboardist Reese Wynans.
Sugar Me is a solid set of music from Sammy Eubanks that will satisfy fans of blues, soul, and country, while proving that the same musical roots run through all three genres.
Friday Blues Fix Blog