Sweet Daddy CD's!!
Sweet Daddy CD's!!
Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze March 4, 2001 by Harold Tremblay .
Ridgeport Pub - Naples, FL
Presented by the Blues Foundation
March 4, 2001
by Harold Tremblay .
Sweet, Cool, Breeze, just the feeling I was looking for on this warm Florida night. On vacation with my wife, I was itchy to hear some blues. I'd recently heard about this harp player and to my surprise found that he was appearing close to us. With little pleading, (she knows my obsession), we ventured to check these guys out. What I got was a SMOKING band from western Massachusetts, heating the night up even more. Wally "Sweet Daddy" Greaney and his tight band just lit the place up, opening with an uptempo "Chicken Shack" and rolling into an original called "Bark." The packed house on this Sunday night sat up and took notice immediately.
I spied a saxophone on stage and on the next song, "Sweet Daddy" showed he can play both the "Mississippi saxophone" and the real thing equally as well. Opening "Teeny Weeny Bit of Your Love " on harp, he soloed and brought it home on the sax. Nice touch.
A little history on "Sweet Daddy."
He's been playing professionally since the mid 70's, has recorded or worked with Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy and Jr. Wells.
Opened for Taj Mahal, Koko Taylor, James Cotton and Buddy Guy. Has toured internationally for a number of years, recording a CD "Live in France," which has received much acclaim in the blues periodicals.
Did I mention his vocals? Moving from straight ahead Chicago to slow blues to swing, this guy captures the feeling. On the Ray Charles song "Green Back Dollar Bill," "Sweet Daddy" shows his storytelling ability as well.
I particularly liked the Louis Jordan tune, "Outskirts of Town," with the slow, haunting harmonica and oh so soulful vocals. The band kicked through several more songs in this long first set, including "Somebody" (Rod Piazza), an original song about a devoted "Sweet Daddy" fan called "He Loved the Blues," a swing tune called "I Love the Blues," Freddy King's "Boogie Man" and Sonny Boy Williamson's "Cross My Heart" (the last two done real funky). They closed the set out with an extended boogie instrumental showcasing "Sweet Daddy's" harp proficiency, changing tempo (he even inserted a couple of lines from Amazing Grace) and literally blowin' himself blue!
Mark Easton on guitar. He's been working with "Sweet Daddy" since 1999 and recorded on "Blowing Down the House," the newest S.D.C.B. CD. This guy just attacks like it's his last show. Given plenty of room to play, Mark threw killer solos one after another at the crowd, only to have them cry for more. And he obliged, even trading solos with "S.D." on "Cross My Heart." With his shaven head and husky physique, one might expect a raw sound, but what comes at you is masterful phrasing and a really nice touch.
The rhythm section consisted of Eddie Humber on bass and Patrick Levery on drums. I don't know much about either of these guys, except that the drummer came on for this Florida tour. They set the groove very well, hitting all of the stops, (Wally loves stops), as if they'd been together for a while. This is a tight band, and having caught them at the end of their tour, anything unfamiliar to the rhythm section had been worked out.
My wife loves sax and wanted to hear more so I mentioned that to "S.D." He opened the set with two numbers on sax, "Sissy Strut" and "Doing What I Choose"(another original), blowing with such intensity that it moved a group of vacationing women to throw money into his sax while he was playing!
It was getting late and we had to drive a little ways through unfamiliar territory so we didn't see the end of the show.
The last songs we heard were Kim Wilson's "Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You" and a real down in the alley version of "The Sky is Crying," with S.D. using his chromatic to express the passion of the song.
"Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze" is one of those "must see" bands. Hopefully he'll book a tour through the Midwest and stop on bye. Sure added to my vacation. He has 3 CD's out and you can look them up on his website at: http://come.to/sweetdaddy .
This review is copyright © 2001 by Harold Tremblay, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.
Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze is a Blues quartet out of the Northeastern region of the United States, that has a strong European following. Led by Wally "Sweet Daddy" Greaney (harp, sax, and vocals), the band covers a variety of blues ranging from tough Albert Collins style, to funky numbers with a jazzy feel.
The music on this disc was recording in 1997 in France, and is amazingly well recorded for a live album. It has a studio-like clarity and punch, and even more impressively, the band edited out as much crowd noise as possible. That would rarely happen in a rock record.
Choosing to record live was also a good idea as it plays to the band's main strength, which is that they are a very professional and tough touring band, and are at their best when stretching out. The whole set is a series of fine performances and intelligent (yet loose and funky) solos. It's music that is confident, and doesn't resort to cheap dynamics.
Outstanding cuts include a fine shuffle, "Hey Baby," which moves along with a nice edge provided by the fine rhythm section of Joe Fonda on bass and Peter Perfido on drums. Uwe Herr provides a very cool and funky guitar workout on "In Love With A Musician," and "Sweet Daddy" shows a truly superior sense of tone and dymanics in "Sweet Tooth Mama" and "Routine Blues."
It's easy to see why the Europeans have already discovered this outfit. Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze delivers their hot Blues chops with a jazz musician's sense of cool, and the sound is Grade A Prime Blues Club music. Sure to make your espresso taste better, believe me.
Steve Walbridge (writer for Blues Revue Magazine) wrote: "The rest of the world is about to discover what the European blues scene figured out a long time ago: Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze is one bad ass blues band. These boys know how to run with the big dogs! Live in France testifies to that from front to back.
An MP3-track for downloading (with Wally's permission):
MORE SWEET DADDY MP3's
Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze: "Blowin' Down The House"
Containing a mix of tracks penned by Kim Wilson, Ron Pizza, Sonny Boy Williams, Wally "Sweet Daddy" Greaney" and a few others this album is one for you harp lovers. Produced in a live environment at "Theodore's Night Club" in Springfield, MA it contains a simple mix that comes off well without the usual background noise of a live album.
Although the group is only four strong (one guitarist, one drummer, one Bass player and a Harpist) they kick. These boys provide a wide variety in the material presented. Material which run from a clipping jump blues, through a few solid shuffles to and beyond a Texas Style Driven Jump Blues. Although they are good they could be even better if they'd add a keyboard in to sort of fill in the bottom. But the lack of this instrument is not a major problem. No in fact I found multiple tracks that I liked not just for their listening but to play for a dance crowd. The tracks that I'd classify in that category would be Track 2 "Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You". A solid shuffle with the entire traditional groove one wants to find in a harp based group. Track 4 entitled "He Loved the Blues" is another strong shuffle with a harp bridge that will raise you to heaven. Another track that has interesting musical interplay is Track 8 entitled "Hook". It's introduction is reminis! cent of the intro to "The Pink Panther Theme" and uses cymbals, drum kicks paired with breaks to get your attention before running head long into a Jump Blues line that breaks with a return to the cymbals and kick drums. All of which lead to a really cool listen.
On the "Ole Give It To Mikey, He'll Play It Rating Scale" this one is a solid B. It ranks there because it is above average for a live production. But from time to time its feel is hollow and a need for other instruments is apparent. If these guys pull in that other player they will be something to give a listen to. Availability should not be a problem but if so check out "Cool Daddy's" site at sweetdaddylive.com .
"Blowin Down The House"
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