The Burnette, Tomcat and GA Brown connection
Bold, risky, and with the potential to be greatly rewarding, the collaborative effort is a time-honored tradition in artistic circles. About twenty years ago I attended a panel at a science fiction convention in which three professional illustrators representing the genres of horror, fantasy and science fiction would hear suggested scenarios from the audience.
Each artist then took a moment at the easel, Celebrating A Decade contributing some small part of the image before passing it on to the next fellow, who would then build on the work. This rapid-fire hand off would cycle through several times until the illustration was deemed finished.
The results were pretty fantastic. The melding of three distinct creative styles and artistic approaches yielded results that no single one of them could have achieved alone. It was a classic “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” scenario and judging by the artists’ reaction to each other during and after the process, it was a hell of a lot of fun as well.
Artists, authors, creative types of all sorts occasionally delve in to the realm of collaboration, but none so often as musicians whose craft lends itself to the practice. The latest collaborative effort to come across my desk is the new EP, The Final Shake, Rattle & Roll, featuring the talents of three local blues juggernauts, Brian “Husky” Burnette, GA Brown and Tomcat Hughes. It’s a sterling effort and, like those scifi guys from long ago, it sounds like they had a blast doing it.
Whether an effect of our smallish (but bigger than people realize) community, or just that talented folk tend to move in the same circles, the three men share a particular connection and that all three are or have been performers with Hellstomper and Polecat Boogie Revival.
It’s fair to say that their skills are on par with one another. At the same time, each man has his own distinct musical signature which is what makes collaboration like this a worthwhile endeavor.
The EP contains six tracks and according to Burnette, their attitude towards the project was simple enough. “Just three guys and three guitars. We each brought two songs to the table, one cover and one original. The other two of us do accompaniment. Came in with no expectations and didn’t try to make a masterpiece, just had fun jamming and recorded it.”
Despite that humble approach, the result is a masterpiece of raw blues. There’s no need to dissect the tracks one by one, each man has a solid reputation already and each has been reviewed individually in this paper on multiple occasions.
I would think that any fan of one of them is already a fan of the other two. If not, you certainly should be and the EP is the definitive proof of that. It is an unvarnished showcase of three talented bluesmen highlighted by their ability to play off one another and if blues is your taste, it’s a welcome and essential addition to any collection.
Hearing it should be no problem. Rusty Kuckles is releasing the EP digitally for mass consumption, but if you (like me) prefer to have a physical copy for your collection, there’s only one way to do that. Physical copies will only be available directly from the artists themselves at their live shows.