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Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots "Lit Up!"
Victor Wainwright and Stephen Dees must have figured if it worked before, it can work out again, and boy were they right, with the release of their newest collaboration Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots "Lit Up!". Considered to be a potent mix of "Power-house blues, Memphis soul, and roots rock’n’roll", Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots, along with Guest Musicians Charlie DeChant, Mark "Muddyharp" Hodgson, Chris Stephenson, Bob Dionne, Ken Titmus, deliver a Sophomore release that is truly second to none.
"Lit Up!" consists of 14 solid Tracks with Victor Wainwright and fellow Producer/Bassist Stephen Dees, writing or co-writing all of the songs. In addition to Victor Wainwright tickling the ivories on "Lit Up!", he also does the Lead Vocals, and he does them about as masterfully as any singer out there today, reminding me a lot of the vocal style of Dr. John. The backing band for this album, is as their Debut release "Beale Street to the Bayou", the Wildroots and consists of Stephen Dees (Bass/Acoustic Guitar/Percussion), Greg Gumpel (Resonator/Electric Guitar), Patricia Ann Dees (Tenor sax/Backing Vocals), Billy Dean (Drums), and Ray Guiser (Tenor sax/Clarinet). It does not take that long of a listen, into this album, to see why The Wildroots are considered "one of the tightest smokin’ bands on the scene".
The main man on "Lit Up!" is of course Victor Wainwright and his climb to the top of the heap of great Boogie Style Piano players and performers is pretty well complete, as a few recent quotes surely prove. “Victor Wainwright, wields a mighty left hand and a robust vocal delivery that brims with the very spirit of the blues.  (Sheryl & Don Crow - Nashville Blues Society), “Extremely diverse with great songwriting, exceptional arrangements, flawless playing and vocals soulful enough to make Otis Redding sit up and take notice” (Bill Wilson - Billtown Blue Notes), “Victors’ piano playing is exciting and soulful, along with his strong vocals. Victor is a blues star on the rise. ” (Honey Piazza, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers).
From Top to Bottom, Side to Side, and Front To Back, "Lit Up!" is just simply put, One Great Album, and in more ways than one, it will remind you of a least one of the greats, that being Dr. John. Victor Wainwright and his amazing backing band The Wildroots, have with "Lit Up!", firmly entrenched themselves as a Blues Force to be reckoned with. From the Piano pounding opening Track "Big Dog's Runnin' This Town", to the Soulful Backyard Bluesy singing on "Pile of Blues", "Lit Up!" is one great ride.
For those of you whom like the Piano style delivery of the Blues, "Lit Up!" is a must have album to your collection.
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Listen To Samples Here...