Chris James and Patrick Rynn Stop and Think About It

This CD captures the spirit of ’50s Memphis and Chicago blues combo recordings nicely. Guitarist Chris James is a credible vocalist with a penchant for broom dusting like Elmore James (no relation), represented with four covers in the 12-song play list. Patrick Rynn is an old school, upright and electric bass player, sounding like Ransom Knowling and his mentor Dave Myers (of the Aces fame). The five originals by James/Rynn replicate the 1953 to 1958 period when blues bands played working class black neighbourhood clubs. "I’d Like to Write A Letter” shows the influence of Little Walter and the title track Junior Wells. The droll lyrics are framed nicely by harp player Bob Corritore’s wailing riffs and shuffle-master Sam Lay’s stop-time drumming. The Memphis beat is most present during "Mister Coffee,” as James sings about a man who’s "good to the last drop.” Based in San Diego, this duo have paid their dues for 18 years, having backed many of their heroes in that time. These guys deserve to shine. (Earwig)