Make My Home in Florida
Backtrack Blues Band
Label: Harpo Records
Release Date: January 26, 2018
Backtrack Blues Band announces the group’s new live CD/DVD, Make My Home in Florida.
There was a packed house at the historic Palladium Theater in St Petersburg, Florida, on January 6, 2017, when the Backtrack Blues Band arrived for the show. Excitement was in the air, as the hometown audience knew the performance was being filmed and recorded for the band’s new live album.
There’s no doubt the group felt the enthusiasm, as Backtrack Blues Band delivered a strong mix of both blues classics and original songs. Borrowing from T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, while also adding several original songs including the title song, “Make My Home in Florida,” this was a magical night of blues music!
Backtrack founder/lead singer/harmonica ace Sonny Charles described the evening: “We knew that the show was being filmed and recorded, but the band never discussed it much. Our goal was to relax and have fun playing to a sold out room. We are all such good friends, and we genuinely appreciate what each guy brings to our sound, so it was actually easy for us to just go out there and let it roll.”
The relaxed, fun vibes are captured perfectly on Make My Home in Florida, and it’s hard not to have a good time when this album is cranking.
Backtrack is no stranger to large audiences, having played major blues festivals in America and Canada , and opened for the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others during its 37-year history. But given the extensive preparations for a five camera high-definition film project and state-of-the-art recording, this night was bound to be special.
The band’s style of blues is built upon a blend of Sonny Charles’ amplified harmonica and Kid Royal’s Texas-style lead guitar. Both men add convincing vocals, and the rhythm section of former Amazing Rhythm Aces bassist Jeff “Stick” Davis and drummer Joe Bencomo, plus guitar player Little Johnny, drives this blues machine in high gear with an infectious groove. The result is a tight, honest night of blues music, played straight from-the-heart, with no gimmicks or studio enhancements. It’s the kind of performance that evolves from many years of playing together, in a band that truly loves working as a team.
Backtrack Blues Band was formed in the tropics and the group values its Florida and Caribbean roots. The band was an early leader on the Florida blues scene in the 1980s, as one of the first authentic blues acts in Tampa Bay. The Make My Home in Florida release marks the group’s sixth album and reflects decades of musical experience from deep down south.
The band also travels to the Caribbean for shows, and Sonny keeps a home on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The album’s song, “Shoot My Rooster, “was derived from his island experiences. As Sonny explained, “On St John, we have lots of wild animals that roam the island and keep us entertained: donkeys, goats, iguanas and chickens are everywhere. At my place, a feral rooster hung out, and crowed loudly every morning. A friend said I should shoot the rooster. I never did pull the trigger, but it did inspire me to write a new tune.”
On Make My Home in Florida, the Backtrack Blues Band brings its unique blend of Chicago blues and Texas-inspired guitar to full measure, resulting in one of the most exciting live blues albums in quite a while. While they may seek out the sunshine and warm waters of Florida and beyond, on this live CD/DVD, the Backtrack Blues Band delivers stone-cold blues music at its very best.
As writer/author Bill Dahl summarizes in the package’s liner notes, “Whether they’re cooking up a dynamic original or reviving a hallowed classic, the Backtrack Blues Band has a sound all its own. This exciting in-concert collection is the next best thing to experiencing them in the flesh!