Double Trouble Been A Long Time

The heaviest rhythm section of all time is back. Formerly known as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, this duo catapulted blues-rock to new heights when they backed the late, great SRV, until his untimely death in 1990. And, finally, the drum and bass combo of Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon have polished off their edge and have decided to record a stellar and solid disc under the Double Trouble moniker, with a "little" help from their friends. Providing every single name of those who aid with co-writing, playing and singing duties would be too numerous. Suffice to say that the current keepers of the red-hot blues torch are present. To name a few: Doyle Bramhall II, Charlie Sexton, Jimmie Vaughan and Kenny Wayne Shepard. Inevitably, time does bronze the edge a bit, so expect to hear a contemporary sound that is quantified and refined. However, there are moments that cook, especially as the disc progresses. Tracks like "She's All Right," "In The Middle of the Night" and Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" brings out that pumping bass-drum and rolling bass plucks that the duo electrified the genre with. The only cancerous element to the project is Big Sugar's Gordie Johnson. It upsets me greatly that the Americans are seemingly smitten by him and I can only assume his presence is based on commercial nepotism as a result of his association with Warren Haynes (who, unfortunately, is not on this disc). When placed beside the real greats on this disc, it is quite evident that Mr. Johnson is not a "blues man" whatsoever, with his trying-too-hard, rock (without the "roll") sensibility. As I have overheard from the crowd on numerous live Gov't Mule discs, when Johnson is invited to jam onstage, "Hey Gordie! You're out of your league!"; couldn't be said any better. Other than that, this album is the cat's ass. (Universal)