Saturday, February 12, 2011

Big Foot Bob & the Toe Tappers....That About Covers it

Another album of covers?
It's not a travesty of talent or a dearth of creativity. Afterall, Lennon did it. So did Van Morrison. Big Foot Bob is keepin' some fine company. And they have some pretty impressive credentials to back it up. These stellar "musicianers" have traveled up and down the highways of the American Dream for awhile and have approached the status of Lomaxian miners excavating an almost forgotten musical legacy. Nothing is beyond the scope of their craft. Their sound is like a wave of warm spring air after an exceptionally cold winter. Maybe it's the authenticity of the music. Or it could be their intuitive "knowing" what is musically compelling. And yet is just might be their love and appreciation for the pure expression of what is indelibly human. A fundamental assumption about musical integrity and that something important is reaching your ears. Regardless, these cats have created the most righteous musical landscape since Sinatra met Dorsey. Believe me, this music ain't archeology. It's timeless. And it's not the type of art one carries in a suitcase. No scratchin' discs on a turntable and shouting "YEAH" over a sampled rhythm track. Real instruments and real music.

Starting with the rockin' B-3 fed cool jazz of Paul B. Allen, the Toe Tappers have fashioned an elegant tapestry of All-American music. The covers aren't just obscure nuggets or gems of unrecognized genius. No, they have the audacity to record and transform HITS. Like puttin' the "Joe Cocker" to their gospel version of Lennon's take on Dylan on Hide Your Love Away . They pay respectful homage to Ray Charles on the blues masterpiece Georgia On My Mind and swing like Taj Mahal on Ain't Nobody Gonna Steal My Jelly Roll. And Bob Schultz' emotive vocal on Compared To What rivals Les McCann's iconoclastic version. His barely contained rage targets political hypocrisy. The sense of betrayal is palpable. And timely...
The disc closes with a joyful paradox on the Dixieland-inspired workout of Cocaine Habit Blues. It is simply sublime.

Bob Schultz is the leader of the band. He is a soulful vocalist with a great sense of style and nuance. His instrumental prowess on piano and saxophone is more than's exceptional. The core of the band includes Danny Hare (Guitar), Wayne Morton (Bass), Bubba Grundner (drums) and they are uniformly superb throughout. The Toe Tappers are joined by an all-star cast of sometime band-mates David Huber (saxophone) and Doug Decker (piano, organ), and the late/great Jerry Glassel (guitar).

Big Foot Bob and the Toe Tappers just may be a throwback to a long ago time when music was...well... more musical. A time when hearing a live band was sheer delight. The energy of the music drove our passions. It was like taking a kernel of corn at room temperature, adding salt and butter, and heating it up. Bob Schultz and his assorted minstrels do just that. They heat up a wondrous musical stew that incorporates seemingly diverse influences such as jazz, blues, gospel, country, and rock.
And so it goes...
T-Bone meets Louis Jordan in a seamless musical archetype that puts a smile on your lips and a spring in your step. So go ahead slap on the disc and divine the mysteries that unfold between the grooves.

Bo White
April 22, 2004

Ok folks, this is my humble contribution to BFB's CD...the "official" liner notes. I just hope I did it justice

Thanks guys...I love yer style

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