Vince Agwada: Eyes of the City (Rocketnoodle)
Veteran axeman Vince Agwada has been peeling off stinging guitar lines on the Chicago blues scene since the early 1980s. As a teenager, Agwada started hanging out at the legendary Theresa’s Lounge and the Checkerboard Lounge where he jammed with the likes of Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Syl Johnson, Johnny Littlejohn, Buddy Guy, Sammy Lawhorn, Louis Meyers, and Lefty Dizz, who quite generously, was the first to let Agwada sit in and show his stuff on one of his legendary “Blue Monday” jam sessions. He soon become a much in demand sideman and he toured extensively with Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Sugar Blue, Magic Slim, Junior Wells and many others through the late ‘80s and ‘90s. In 1996, Living Blues Magazine voted him one of the Top 40 Blues artists under 40 in the country and he made a stellar appearance on Son Seals’ scorching “Live at B.L.U.E.S.” album. He’s appeared on sessions with Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, Bill McFarland, Ron Prince, Chicago Beau, and others, while helping launch the Chicago Blues Experience, an amazing traditional Chicago blues ensemble that also features the mighty Russ Green on harmonica.
“Eyes of the City” is the long awaited self-produced debut that finds the journeyman guitarist tearing loose on an exciting 13-song collection of blues, rock, jazz and R&B based numbers that will blow your socks off. Check out Agwada’s muscular fretwork on such scorching tracks as “Blooze” and “I’m Coming Home” and you’ll soon discover why this great player is the guitarist of choice for some of the best known names in the blues. Other highlights include the fine “Ellie” with its strong contemporary jazz feel, and the magnificent “Come On In,” that features some of Agwada’s vicious slide work. Harmonica virtuoso Sugar Blue guests on the fine “Rain,” while “It’s a Shame,” “Car Wash Blues,” and “Hard To Cry” find Agwada putting his personal stamp on some of the most engaging contemporary blues to be released this year. “Eyes of the City” is a terrific new album that is available to purchase via Agwada’s MySpace site, or you can order your copy on his website at www.vinceagwada.com. (RL)
Rob’s Blues July 15th 2008