Blues Underground Network
Big Shot Reub And The Reloaders "Roundhouse Blues"
Over the last several years I have done over 300+ Reviews, so needless to say, not a lot of music crosses my desk nowadays from Artists that I am not familiar with. There is however, the rare occasion that I find myself staring at a CD of an Artist for whom I have never heard of. I naturally get a little skeptical and find myself going into detective mode. I get even more skeptical when I find pretty well nothing in the CD and on the Internet that gives me any good idea of whom the Artist is and where they have truly come from. Such was the case with Big Shot Reub And The Reloaders, whose newest release "Roundhouse Blues", hit my desk a few weeks back. From info gathered on their Reverbnation Page, which contained nothing more than the songs I were about to listen to on the CD, and the CD's Immediate Release notes, I plopped the CD into the player and hoped for the best and low and behold I was pleasantly surprised with just how good of an Album "Roundhouse Blues" turned out to be.
The Reub in Big Shot Reub And The Reloaders, refers to Reuben Vigil, whom with his band, call San Diego their home. The members of Big Shot Reub And The Reloaders, together and as individuals, performed and played in various San Diego bands before joining forces to record "Roundhouse Blues".
"Roundhouse Blues" consists of 10 Tracks, all Originals and all Composed and Arranged by Reuben Vigil, the Guitarist and Vocalist for Big Shot Reub And The Reloaders. In addition to Reuben the other members of the band include Jodie Hill on Bass and Ric Lee on Drums. Special Guest Glen Laughlin is credited with doing the Choir Vocals on Track 3 "Viva Bracero". Charlie Watts, the multi-Grammy winner, whom also is probably best known for his spectacular work on Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours, was responsible for Mastering "Roundhouse Blues", which was Produced and Engineered by Glen Laughlin.
In the Release Notes for "Roundhouse Blues", they have some of Reuben Vigil's influences listed as, "B.B. King, Elvis Costello, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix" and after listening to to this Album, I must say that I picked up quite a bit of those influences throughout. I also picked out something very obvious about Reuben Vigil, and that is, that he his an extraordinarily good Guitarist, whom is not afraid to show off that skill throughout this Album, especially on Track 5, "C", an instrumental, bordering on a classical theme and Track 2 "Love Comes Knockin', in which his Guitar comes off with flavors of Stevie Ray Vaughan. In addition, Reuben Vigil's music is also a nice diverse mix, even including a Latin song for Track 3 "Viva Bracero", “a tribute to the unskilled laborers that helped rebuild America after the Great Depression ”.
Overall, I was very impressed with "Roundhouse Blues". The first sentence of the release notes for this Album said, "There is a quality slinger on the Blues horizon, and you should know his name: Reuben Vigil". From the music I have just been listening to on "Roundhouse Blues", I must say that I am in total agreement with that statement. "Roundhouse Blues" has proven to me that Big Shot Reub And The Reloaders are a new band with a great leader, whom really knows how to write songs, sing them, and play some awesome Guitar, and along with the rest of his band, they have managed to make a fan out of me, as I am sure they will for all that have the good fortune to give them a listen.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. So Much Inside Me
2. Love's Come Knocking
3. Viva Bracero
6. Big Shot Roll
7. I Don't Drink
8. Love Is A Memory
9. Time Was