This is a veteran Montreal trio led by a man who calls himself Riot. He plays guitar and sings while Big Papa Mike handles bass and Mark Di Claudio drums. André Chrétien adds keyboards for the CD. They play some fine rocking blues as those who were at the Aurora Winter Blues Festival will attest. Songwriting credits here go to the trio and they get full marks for the opening “Saturday Night Widow”, perhaps the finest song written for and about a working musician’s wife that I’ve heard. With Riot rocking away on acoustic slide, this one’s a keeper and just check out that middle solo. A slab of R&B is up next with ”How Many Times” producer and MBA winner Frankie Thiffault supplies the appropriate horns. Riot is on electric here with another imaginative solo. “JD Kisses” is a lovely Stones-ish ballad with Riot back on slide in a delightful stop time paean to his partner. “Walls Are Closing In” is a more traditional sounding slow blues with sterling piano & guitar. More R&B follows with the B3-led “Do I Have To Beg”, a soaring electric guitar solo taking it out. One more highlight is the rockabilly blues “Howling At The Moon” and a frantic one it is. Riot is an excellent singer, reminding me at times of Matt Andersen, and with this band and the quality of these songs, making for a hard combination to beat. Their previous album was a live CD/DVD set, you will enjoy that one too. Their web site is www.riotdevils.com.

July 2018 - Dan Dorion
July 2018 - Spencer MacKenzie