Blinddog Smokin’ get funky on terrific ‘High Steppin” release

Promo-Photo-2-by-Shelby-Duncan‘High Steppin’’
Blinddog Smokin’ (Silver Talon)
4 stars out of 5

Though they’ve been around for more than two decades, my first exposure to funk collective Blinddog Smokin’ came via last year’s “Decisions” collaboration with soul legend Bobby Rush that earned all involved a Grammy nomination for best blues album

Blinddog CDThe seven-member outfit shows off their funk bonafides on terrific 11th album “High Steppin’.” It’s a freewheeling gathering of tunes that underscore frontman Carl Gustafson’s storytelling prowess.

“I come from a time before television, when telling stories was part of the fabric of life,” Gustafson explains. “So I’m a songwriting machine. I’m constantly coming up with new lyrics and our producer and friend, Donny Markowitz, has provided much of the music based on his skills and knowledge of how we think and play as a band.”

Lid-lifter “Pimp Shoes” is fantastic and sets the tone for the rest of the nine-track, 40-minute slab. Blinddog Smokin’ also score with “Don’t Put No Money on Me,” “I Caught Her Lyin’,” personal favorite “If I Died to Day” and “Big Behind,” a riotous ode to “junk in the trunk.”

Sadly, their current tour doesn’t bring them any closer to Pittsburgh than Toronto. Here’s hoping that Blinddog Smokin’ burn through the Iron City at some point in the near future. (Jeffrey Sisk)


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