Blues Underground Network
The Snakehandlers Blues Band "Rock Plus Roll"
When it comes to the Blues and Blues/Rock, for that matter, The Snakehandlers Blues Band sure know how to add it all up, something which becomes apparent right out of the starting gate on their hot Debut Release, "Rock Plus Roll".
The Snakehandlers Blues Band is the brainchild of Carl Lo Sasso, Frank Dean, two former band mates on a previous project, Sindacato. Both were on a bit of a break when they decided that the creative juices were now back at a level where they felt it was time to start getting really serious about their music again, thus Carl and Frank started the recruitment process that would be the lineup for this Album. First on the list was Bob Schneider (Keyboards/Vocals) whom brought along Floyd Tucker (Bass) with him. next up on the wish list was Cadillac Scott Parkhurst (Harmonica/Vocals), whom "after years of prodding by Dean, put his X on the dotted line". The final piece of the puzzle fit in place with the addition of Clint Crabb (Electric/Acoustic/Slide Guitars). Together with Carl Lo Sasso (Drums/Percussion/Vocals) and Frank Dean (Electric/Acoustic Guitars/Mandolin/Vocals) the The Snakehandlers Blues Band was born.
"Rock Plus Roll" consists of 11 Tracks and really was a group effort as far as the writing of the music was concerned, with 4 of the band members pitching in on the writing duties. The majority of the songs were written by Frank Dean with Carl Lo Sasso co-writing one, Bob Schneider writing one,and Cadillac Scott Parkhurst writing two. There are no Covers on "Rock Plus Roll", just Originals, which is a bit of a gutsy move for a Debut Album, but one that The Snakehandlers Blues Band, felt they could pull off, and let me tell you they certainly did.
One of the main criteria's that Frank Dean had when putting together the band was that there would be "no "Steve Vai" types in the band playing over the vocals", everyone was going to be allowed to shine especially the vocalists. That is probably one of the first things I noticed when I started listening to "Rock Plus Roll", it really sounded like a tight cohesive band with no show boating, everyone equal, everyone allowed their time in the spotlight, but always with the concern for the music, front and center.
"Rock Plus Roll" has a lot of fine styles on it, from straight ahead Blues/Rock, to nicely done R&B, to Down and Dirty Blues, all played exceptionally well performed, courtesy of this superbly grounded band. You will also find the group effort approach throughout "Rock Plus Roll", with different Vocalists and Musicians in the band taking their turn at really impressing us all. That allows for a lot of diversity to their music and makes for a very interesting and enjoyable listen.
As far as picking a few favorites off of "Rock Plus Roll", which was not an easy task because of all the really well written and performed tracks, I would have to say "Bad Girls" which is the opening Track and "Ninety Miles An Hour" which was the closing track got my attention a bit more than the others.
The Snakehandlers Blues Band really done their homework when putting together this band and "Rock Plus Roll" is about as fine of a example of that as one could expect from a Debut Album.
If "Rock Plus Roll", is what The Snakehandlers Blues Band is going to continue to sound like in the future, then I really can't wait to hear their next Album. Highly Rceommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. Bad Girls 3:42
2. Ain't Stayin' the Night 3:12
3. Too Much Again 4:27
4. Slip Into the Leather 3:04
5. Long Legged Woman 3:50
6. Daddy's Little Angel 3:00
7. Crazy Woman Blues 2:53
8. My Cadillac 2:52
9. Face Down and Fallin' 5:48
10. V-Twin Woman 3:33
11. Ninety Miles An Hour 6:35
Listen To Samples Here...