JAY WILLIE & JAMES MONTGOMERY, Cadillac Walk
Combining the dual rockin’ blues genius of veteran guitarist/slide guitarist/vocalist Jay Willie – longtime leader of the Connecticut based Jay Willie Blues Band – and legendary Detroit-born singer/harmonica master James Montgomery, Cadillac Walk is probably the most boisterous and energizing album you’ll hear all year.
You can check Montgomery’s superstar credits if you like (tours with Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, et al) but what matters most is that Willie’s been a longtime fan from the time his cohort led the James Montgomery Band and the Shaboo Allstars on the New England circuit years ago. In 2016, Willie reached out to Montgomer to see if he would front a show.
The creative chemistry forged that night, combined with several years of social media exchanges, now culminates in this rip-roarin’ collection which romps through history, focusing most intently on their early R&B influences.
The sole Willie original, the barn-burning instrumental dance jam/homage “Montgomery Boogie” is worth the price of admission alone, and a perfect entry point to a series of raw, wild, amped up (and sometimes just plain cool and soulful) re-imaginings of gems by Lieber & Stoller (“Three Cool Cats”), Moon Martin (“Cadillac Walk”), The Rolling Stones (“Satisfaction”), Johnny Winter (“I’m Yours and I’m Hers,” “Mean Town Blues”), Willie Cobbs (“Eatin’ Dry Onions”) and even Tracy Chapman (“Give Me One Reason”).