STEVE KRASE – Just Waitin’

Connor Ray Music
Blues

A Brooklyn native, this singer and harmonicist has been travelling around from Ohio to California and Louisiana before settling down to the music scene of Houston where he has been for the last three decades. After ten years spent with Jerry Lightfoot & The Essentials, he has created his own band, Steve Krase & The In Crowd. Noticed in our neck of the woods with Trudy Lynn during his recent European tours, Steve Krase is a true follower of the J. Geils Band in its golden age, and his way of playing shows an impressive energy. Through his hero, Magic Dick, you can also feel the influence of the Chicago legends: the two Walter, but also the killers that are Kim Wilson, Charlie Musselwhite and of course the late William Clarke. This is his fourth album and after leaning towards a west-coast style swing in his previous album, he takes us off balance from the opening track in a typically pub rock Dr. Feelgood’s style. Steve Krase takes on the two parts of the founding frontmen, you’d swear he is imitating Wilko’s gruff vocals whilst injecting the late Lee Brilleaux’s fiery harp playing! He carries on with a frenetic Diddley Beat cover “I Don’t Mind”, which featured on the first album of the good Doctor. But then the local Texas Blues takes back its rightful place with the staggering “Just Waitin’ On My New Baby” (worthy of the late Lee McBee and Mike Morgan), before giving way to the Zydeco “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett”, including accordion and washboard. The captivating and mischievous “Dirty Dirty” would not be out of place in Rick Estrin’s repertoire with a hint of Coasters. David Carter performs a simply amazing solo with his six string guitar, quickly followed by another (no less explosive) from the boss. The playful “Blame It All On Love” brings the Peter Wolf/J.Geils’s touch without which none of Steve Krase’s albums would feel complete. There are also two covers from Chester Burnett (alias Howlin’ Wolf) sprinkled in but undoubtedly the highlight in this remarkable object is Walter Price’s “Nobody Loves Me”, the only slow blues in this album. This track reminds of the “Double Trouble” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby” when Otis Rush struck all mere mortals with lightning. Of course, David Carter strikes again with another unbelievable solo whilst Steve Krase overwhelms with a breathtaking solo on the harp. As remarkably produced as it is played, this is undoubtedly one of this year’s greatest blues recording!

Patrick Dallongeville
Paris-MoveBlues Magazine, Illico & BluesBoarder

Translation of the French review by Nathalie Harrap