Blues Underground Network
Whiteboy James And The Blues Express "Extreme Makeover" (USA)
We are all familiar with the Extreme Makeover TV series and now Whiteboy James And The Blues Express have done essentially the same with their new album of re-recorded songs from their 1992 self-titled debut album and called it "Extreme Makeover".
Whiteboy James And The Blues Express were part of the Southern California blues explosion during the 80’s and 90’s and for the most part were considered a Legendary band. Whiteboy James (aka James Page), immersed himself in that blues explosion and with a few tunes under his belt he started jamming with the best bands around then including, The Mighty Flyers, James Harman, The Blasters (Phil and Dave Alvin), Joe Houston, Little Charlie and the Night Cats, Top Jimmy and Juke Logan, just to name a few. "It was at one of the jams that the original Blues Express was formed". It was not long before Whiteboy James And The Blues Express started to garner a lot of attention, especially for their shows in which they often referred to Whiteboy James as an entertaining “jump and jive” madman.
For a while, starting in the 90's Whiteboy James And The Blues Express took a break, reforming again in 2006 to the delight of their fans old and new. Consisting of Scott Abeyta (Guitar), Blake Watson (Bass), Max Bangwell (Drums), and Whiteboy James (Vocals & Harp), Whiteboy James And The Blues Express have certainly regained all the momentum they had before their breakup and there is really no stopping them now, as their new release "Extreme Makeover", certainly proves.
"Extreme Makeover" consists of 12 power packed, and I really do mean power packed tunes. Of the 12 Tracks, 10 are originals written by Whiteboy James (J. Page) and 2 are covers, "Stay Out Late At Night" (Ike Turner) and "I'm Ready" (Willie Dixon). "Extreme Makeover" was Produced by band members Scott Abeyta & Max Bangwell. Scott Abeyta also Engineered and Mixed this album.
"Extreme Makeover" was one of those albums that I get now and then that are a little difficult to review in a timely manner. You see with "Extreme Makeover" the problem was that the music was so darn good, that I found myself being lured into the music and concentrating on that more then the task at had. I did however manage to get this review done, as you may of noticed. LOL
Describing the music of Whiteboy James And The Blues Express, especially on "Extreme Makeover", I would simple call it Jumpin' Jivin' Swingin' Get Off Your Butt Rockin' Good Times Blues. It is a wonderful collection of the type of music that takes you way back, when the sock hops ruled supreme, because when listening to this music, the only thing you are thinking about is trying to find the nearest dance floor. Great Guitar, Jumpin Jivin' Bass, and Drum beat that won't let you rest. Now mix all that with great lyrics, one second to none singer, whom also throws in his brilliant Harp work here and there for good measure, and it all adds up to an album that is an absolute joy to listen to.
As for picking favorites on "Extreme Makeover", I ain't going to do it, as they are all great and don't deserve to be picked out over one another. Whether it be fun opening Track "Big Butted Women", with it's sassy lyrics or the tasty and secret agent feeling Track, "Night Train Wine", it is all fun from start to finish. They say that "Extreme Makeover" is a toned down version, lyric wise, from the original, never the less this album still comes through hot n' heavy when need be.
"Extreme Makeover" was a pure pleasure to listen to and one I have no problem highly recommending and no problem giving my highest rating of 5*****. Thoroughly Enjoyed...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Listen To Samples Here...
Additional Artist Info... http://whiteboyjames.com/