Howard and the White Boys Live at Chord On Blues

Howard is black and his White Boys play the blues. And their claim to fame is a colourful, crowd-friendly pastiche of bar music that bends blues to rock, adding elements of soul and funk. This hard-working Chicago band has earned the respect of no less than Buddy Guy and, hoping to harness the enthusiasm of their live show, offers up this powerful sample of their material. Potential oozes from their first few originals, which make the most of original guitarist Dan Bellini and newcomer Giles Corey, but a reliance on cover tunes almost scuttles the show. A solid rhythm section provides the drive while Bellini blows exceptional harp behind songs like "I Got My Mojo Workin'," but this album falls short of turning bar patrons into rabid fans and the band's odd preference for taking covers off on obscure '70s segues does them no favours (James Brown's "Sex Machine" is reborn with Metallica, Aerosmith and Deep Purple references). This disc portrays a band who is clearly having a ball, but a re-analysis of their significant strengths might set them on a road less travelled and more worth their musical while. (Evidence)