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Benny Maygarden

PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:05 pm
by blueswriter
Benny Maygarden
Come On, If You’re Coming
ShortStack (2009) 1007


12 tracks, 36 minutes. Recommended. You just gotta love surprises when they land on you like a safe falling out a window. Prior to receiving this disc, the name Benny Maygarden was a complete unknown. Considering Come On If You're Coming is his first solo release in ten years, that shouldn’t be alarming. How artists this good can go unnoticed and fly completely under the radar isn’t explainable, but it’s not all that uncommon either. However, don’t think this cat is a complete stranger to the music scene. He’s been in the trenches for years. A short list of his influences resembles a table of assorted wares at a flea market; Gene Vincent, Frankie Laine, Clifton Chenier, Muddy Waters and Frank Sinatra to name just a few. His approach is absolutely blues-infused, as the opener Gutted aptly proves. The bouncing shuffle with full-throated harp and superb vocals also displays Maygarden‘s wry wit as a songwriter about post-Katrina life in New Orleans; “Well my mama passed on to the green pastures, she couldn‘t take no more of these natural disasters.” There are finely-done covers of Arthur Crudup’s Too Much Competition, Big Bill Broonzy’s Let Me Rock You, Jerry McCain’s Reduction Twist and Tampa Red’s Come On If You’re Coming, among others, but in Maygarden’s hands they sound highly original. There are gritty rockers aboard (Don’t Knock/Don’t Hold It) along with Crescent City ballads (What Do You Know About Love/What A Price), and Maygarden’s crazed rumba Too Many Tarzans deserves an award. Support is provided by two guitars, upright bass, piano, drums and horns added for spice and all do more than an admirable job. There are always going to be artists who don’t get the recognition they deserve, but Benny Maygarden has been a relative unknown outside New Orleans for far too long. Find out for yourself and enjoy!

© 2010 by Craig Ruskey