Blues Underground Network
Blind Willy "Willing To Crawl" (EP)
Their are a few bands and individual artists whom like to test the water, so to speak, by first releasing an EP. This is a technique used to let people know that everything may not yet be running on all eight cylinders yet, put is probably close. Feedback at that point is probably wanted and certainly appreciated. Blind Willy's EP Release "Willing To Crawl" is quite simply not a release that needed to be an EP, as it is far to good, in all respects, such as, musicianship, writing, vocals, and production. Quite simply a few more songs added and like magic it would have been a great full length Debut Album. Never the less, an EP from Blind Willy is what we get this time around, and what a heck of a good EP it is.
"Willing To Crawl" consists of 5 Tracks, of which all are co-written by Doug Jones, a producer out of Memphis. Others that share the writing credits on this Album include Chris Anderson (Living the Blues), Angie Commons (Living the Blues/Leave the Light On), Joanna Cotten (Living the Blues/Sweat), Tommy Polk (Willing To Crawl), Johnny Neel (My Little Feelgood/Leave the Light On), Daryl Burgess (Sweat), Mike Cullison (My Little Feelgood), and Buffy Larsen (Leave the Light On).
Musical credits for "Willing To Crawl", include Doug Jones (Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica), James Cook (Bass/Backing Vocals), Derek Mixon (Drums), Johnny Neel (Keyboards), Joanna Cotten (Backing Vocals), Chris West (Sax), Adam Jones (Trombone), and Dan Cohen (Guitar on My Little Feelgood). Keyboardist Johnny Neel, "was Grammy nominated for his keyboard work as an Allman Brothers Band member on the instrumental cut, 'True Gravity" from the "Seven Turns" LP."
"Willing To Crawl" starts off with the opening track "Living the Blues", a sound that I found very familiar to John Mayall, both musically and vocally. "Living the Blues" was a really good choice start to off this Album. It caught my attention and interest right away.
Next up was the Title Track "Willing to Crawl", a song that has a little history behind it, as it "was used in the HBO series "True Blood"." The last Track "Sweat" also has a bit of history, as it can be found in the film "The Dukes of Hazard: The Beginnings". "Willing to Crawl" is where Doug Jones really stretches his vocals, and shows us just how good they are. Great musicianship, especially guitar throughout this track and although it is the second smallest track time wise, it such a powerful one, that it feels much longer then just 3:44.
Track 3 "My Little Feelgood", starts off celebratory in nature with folks joyfully talking as if they are at a great party. Dan Cohen is the guest Guitarist on this fun track, that lends itself to a New Orleans feel with the Sax and Trombone getting in on a little of the action, as well as the great Harmonica of Jones'. This great track also finishes with conversation, which of course adds a good dash of uniqueness to it.
Track 4 "Leave the Light On", is the longest and the slowest one on "Willing To Crawl". It shows off Doug Jones in a more Soulful light which he seems to nail to perfection. Other highlights on this Track include the magic fingers of Johnny Neel on Keyboards and once again Jones' fabulous work on guitar. I must say that slow songs are usually not my favorites, but I really enjoyed this one.
"Willing To Crawl" finishes off with the Track called "Sweat", a song with a little bit of a Funky feel to it, and one in which everyone gets in on the act. Sax, Trombone, Guitar, Keyboards, Drums, and Vocals all meld together on this high energy finale to "Willing To Crawl".
I don't usually give EP's my highest rating of 5***** simply because, while they may be quite good, I find that there is still a little refining that needs to be done. That however is not the case with "Willing To Crawl", as it is as good as it gets for an EP.
5***** for sure, for this really fine release. Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed. Can't wait for them to finish and release a Full Length Debut Album...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. Living the Blues 4:09
2. Willing to Crawl 3:44
3. My Little Feelgood 3:29
4. Leave the Light On 4:38
5. Sweat 4:01
Listen To Samples Here...
On their new release, called "Willing to Crawl," Blind Willy combines the blues, soul, and rock elements with a little swampiness that makes you want to get up and do your groove thang....
Influenced by the classics of yesteryear- Credence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Joe White, Otis Redding, and some of those great New Orleans bands, Blind Willy covers all the bases.
This project was put together by Doug Jones of Nashville who co-wrote and covers the vocals, guitars, and harmonica chores on this 5-song EP. He was assisted by one of his "PIC" (partners in crime) that notorious keyboardist from the Allman Brothers, Johnny Neel. Some of the other co-writers on this EP were guitarist Chris Anderson of The Outlaws, Joanna Cotten, Tommy Polk, and Daryl Burgess. The title track "Willing to Crawl" was used in the HBO series "True Blood" and the last track "SWEAT" was used in the film "The Dukes of Hazard: The Beginnings".