Barry's Corner Blues Album Reviews

Tom Hambridge – The NOLA Sessions

June 2018

Well summer rolls on and the hits just keep coming!  Tom Hambridge’s new CD, ” The NOLA Sessions,” will be out soon, and he just turned the summer heat way up! 

This CD features thirteen original tunes by Tom, and features some outlandish guests setting in!  The NOLA Sessions, New Orleans, Louisiana that is, is phenomenal!  Tom sings with that beautiful sticky tenor voice that never offends, and plays drums like the star that he is!  He sat out to make a biographical blues CD featuring New Orleans very best, and most respected musicians.  Well, he did just that! 

The CD opens up with the legendary Allen Toussaint singing and playing piano on one of his last studio recordings before he died!  Wow!  Let’s also add in Sonny Landreth on slide.  Oh, I will also mention here that this is Tom’s eighth solo CD. 

Ivan Neville adds his beautiful B3 organ to the mix!  Tom also makes sure that we get to hear The McCrary Sisters and The Naughty Horns.  And the album was mastered at Abbey Road Studios in London by Grammy winner Sean Magee.  So you know that quality sound is on every cut! 

Tom is a two-time Grammy-winning producer, songwriter and drummer.  He won those on two Buddy Guy CDs that he produced!  He has also produced five other Grammy-Nominated Albums.  Tom has had over 400 of his songs recorde, and has played with many blues luminaries over the years!  I could go on for several pages right here on his accomplishments!  He knows what he’s doing!  His love for the New Orleans music scene, historically and musically, cannot be matched ! 

This CD is simply “kick ass” from start to finish.  Historic and beautifully done! Why just you don’t go to and see for yourself.  The NOLA Sessions is killer!  Horns, backup, lead work, slide, B3, everything!  It feels and sounds like the heartbeat of New Orleans!  You can put this one on and cranks it up all day, dancing while you make some gumbo!  He even does a tune for Charlie McPherson, Buddy Guy’s bus driver, with Sonny Landreth stretching that slide all the way up the coast.  Sonny plays some wonderful slide on this album too!  I mean wonderful! 

There are a few cuts you probably won’t hear on the radio due to well, because.  So, you better get your own copy.  That’s my advice.  He’s got a “Live From Daryl’s House” tune with the McCrary Sisters singing backup, while Shane Theriot burns up the land with his scorching guitar work!  I mean Tom has left nothing out here!  He finishes up singing the last song with finger picker John Fohl,  and  some heart wrenching cello by Nathanial Smith!  Like he says “Take your time and get it right!”  Yea, this is a Masterpiece for sure!  Please take time to check out Tom Hambridge and “The NOLA Sessions.”  The real thing from giants in their field, right here!  Glad to be of help.   Blue Barry – Smoky Mountain Blues Society.

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