The Soul of John Black has some mighty fine pedigree running through its veins. Fronted by Chicagoan, John Bigham, the band is a heady spill of liquefied blues heat. Bigham himself has been on payrolls that would surprise you, names like Miles Davis, some Everlast, and Fishbone, the latter of whom a stint with lasted some 8 years before Bigham decided his blues was too big to contain. Opening his vein, Bigham began the core sound of The Soul of John Black, whose self-titled first album (2003) was rated high critically.
It is now 2007 and his next, The Good Girl Blues, goes one better in every way. With a blues guitar, inventive methodologies of song craft, and 12 songs of smoldering heat, like coals burning in the night, The Soul of John Black is an addictive listen. The album begins and ends with pure Mississippi Delta-styled blues in “The Hole,” the end a shorter version of the beginning song.
On some songs, the blues goes electric and sultry. The second song, “The Moon Blues” is a classic sounding tune. “Good Girl” shifts gears by becoming harder-edged. On “Slippin’ and Slidin’” you hear a perfect song, one that you want to have run for an hour. On “Swamp Thing,” the blend into blues/rap is good if not a slight distraction.
There is a whole lotta heat on this album. If you like your blues with twists and turns of styles, hot, sultry, drenched in “heat of the moment” passion, electric, and commanding, then The Good Girl Blues is the catch of the day. But keep an eye out for The Soul of John Black and their next album as it’s likely to burn whole cities down. And you won’t want to miss any of that action.