Despite its title, Big Al and the Heavyweights’ latest is the CD that care forgot (sorry), a collection of exactly the sane kind of goodtime blues you’ve come to expect from this shifting quartet. To the Heavyweights, the blues is a social construct, not a personal lament but a declaration of party solidarity, and their seventh album is another readymade wang dang doodle. All you have to do is uncrate it.
The MVP on their seventh album—besides Big Al and his drums, of course—is Lance Younger, a dual threat on vocals and guitar. His booming voice and stinging axe are equally at home whether the Heavies are laying into jump blues on the title track, country on “Mother Trucker,” the heavy, churchy soul of “Testify,” the zydeco-tinged “Bayou Life,” or straight Chicago blues, like the closing “Something Got to Change.”
The other big news this time out is the guest stars sittin’ in, in this case John Lisi on about half the album, the guitar of Muddy vet Bob Margolin on a few key tracks, and ex-member and harp master Jason Ricci doing the prodigal son thing. (And that’s Greg “Schatzy” Schatz on accordion in “Bayou Life,” because where is he not these days?) The rest is business as usual—a few broken hearts, some head-shaking over society, a little local color. But it always translates into one hell of a good time.