The Loose Cannons Blues Band Welcome! Live at the Hon Dah Casino (Self released)
By Martin Cizmar
If I was Michael Jackson’s uncle, you’d know it. No conversation would go by without me mentioning it. Seriously, I’d have business cards printed up:
Martin Cizmar Uncle of Michael Jackson The King of Pop Maybe you’ve heard of him?
Luther Jackson, front man of The Loose Cannons Blues Band, doesn’t do things that way. Near the bottom of his home-printed press materials it says he’s the brother of Joe Jackson, father of the Jackson 5, which makes him…uncle to Michael and Janet.
Luther doesn’t need to ride coattails, judging by Welcome! Live at the Hon Dah Casino. I’ll admit, I was pretty skeptical upon picking up this home-burned CD in a flimsy jewel case. The bare bones cover is LaserJet printed, slightly askew, and features two clip-art cannons. Yikes.
You can’t hide talent though, and halfway through the opener, “Sweet Home Chicago,” I grabbed for the case to figure out who was behind such soulful rendition of the blues standard. Mr. Luther Jackson, everyone.
Jackson, 73 when the record was made, has a fantastic voice -- rich and expressive, sometimes buttery smooth, other times course and a little bitter. It’s truly the kind of voice a man can only get with God-given talent whetted with life experience. Jackson is backed by a band with a combined 200-plus years experience playing Chicago blues, and they’re spot-on throughout the 14-song set chronicled here at a casino in the rural White Mountains.
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Production values are non-existent -- the show was recorded direct to Minidisk (remember Minidisk?) -- and a few songs are static-filled, but the band sounds great running through songs like Elmore James’ rousing “Dust My Blues” and Yank Rachel’s “Ludella.”
Welcome! is well worth a listen, and even more worth making a trip to see the Loose Cannons Blues Band live. They play frequently Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in north Phoenix and American Veterans Post #5 on South 16th Street. If you like blues and live in Phoenix, this is a band you should hear -- live if not on record.
The record is available at shows or via http://home.att.net/~loosecannonsbluesband/