Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat Starvation Box: The Best of Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat

Jim Suhler remains a best-kept secret, despite his status as guitarist for hire to George Thorogood’s Destroyers and Monkey Beat’s main monkey for over 12 years. Playing a cut-to-the-bone brand of blues-based rock’n’roll, a Monkey Beat record traditionally delivers on tough, tight power trio party rock that sounds like a cold case of beer waiting to happen. Prematurely compiled into a best of collection, Starvation Box takes the best of Suhler’s first three records and combines them with six new tracks for a 73-minute sampler that is a must for fans of Texas blues and slide guitar in the tradition of Albert Collins and Hubert Sumlin. Suhler’s slide recalls fellow Texan Johnny Winter on "Little Boy Blue,” proving near fatal on the new Jim Gaines-produced title track. The cock rock of "Snake Bit” and Elmore James’s "U Gotta Move” are undeniably Destroyer-like. New tracks like Lightnin’ Hopkins’s "Lonesome Dog Blues” hint at a reverence for traditional blues that have yet to be fully realised by this talented Texan. "Shake” and "Radio Mojo” might be considered signature tunes, leaning more towards the rocking side of their blues personality. But get a taste of Starvation Box, which serves to prove that Suhler’s time is sure to come. (Lucky Seven)