Curran and his band, the Nightlifes, sound like they just stepped out of a time machine sent back to 1949. They're all young cats, but they perfectly capture the raw vibe of what was in the air when rockabilly, jump blues, electric East Texas blues grit and juke joint R&B collided to produce the raunchy hybrid we now call rock 'n' roll. Like Curran's debut, Doctor Velvet, which just captured a Handy for best recording for a new blues artist, Player! is a mix of road-tested standards and Curran originals that sound like outtakes from the glory days of Chess, King and Federal. On "Player!" he sounds like Little Richard's grandson; "Down Boy Down" channels Big Joe Turner; and he turns The Stooges' "No Fun" into a bump-and-grind blues number with a solid New Orleans feel. The album was recorded on vintage analog equipment producing the lo-fi sound of a veteran bar band rehearsing in an empty club on a bleary-eyed Monday afternoon.
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