The blues ain’t nothin’ but a feeling and, in the case of Vince Agwada, that feeling is good. “Basic Blue” is only his second album but you’d never guess that from the practised polish that he brings to his performance on guitar. More than a revivalist, he nonetheless successfully revives that streetwise blues sound that electrified Chicago but a few decades ago.
“Chi-Town State of Mind” might be the album opener but it is also a clear statement of intent as it bumps, grinds and slides its way through the back alley dives that must have inspired its inception. “Blindsided” likewise keeps the guitar to the fore before “President” goes all seventies funk on us.
There is heart and soul everywhere – so much so much so that Lonnie Brooks comes straight to mind even if Vince Agwada is definitely a child of the urban jungle – and on the big production numbers, like the extended horn powered groove of “Shake It Up”, he displays a surefootedness that marks him out as a true believer in the power of the blues.
Albums like this make me happy. Way back when, I started out on a diet of vinyl of Alligator and Antone and greatly enjoyed all that I consumed. Vince Agwada reminds me of those times and the best compliment that I can pay him is to say that “Basic Blue” deserves to be released on vinyl.
— Bluesbunny – Bluesbunny.com