Bruce McCabe / Various
For the last six years and counting he's been the keyboard player and frequent hit songwriter for Jonny Lang. He has written for Shannon Curfman, and has appeared on records with Luther Allison, Bernard Allison, Big Head Todd, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd* to name a few. A mainstay of the Twin Cities music scene for years as band member of Lamont Cranston and band leader for The Hoopsnakes, he's also scored multiple awards for Best Keyboard Player at the annual Minnesota Music Awards. Now, at long last, Bruce McCabe's self titled CD shows why so many other blues greats have sought out his good company. Bruce McCabe (Ryan Cory Records) is a veritable ENCYCLOPEDIA UNIVERSAL of all things great in the world of blues and the wide spaces beyond. Utilizing fellow Jonny Lang band members. McCabe has found a happy home for marrying his own voice to his song writing-and the result is wonderful. Uplifting, desperate, fragile, yet steadfast, McCabe possesses the kind of seasoned, too-cool-for-school vocal understatement that comes only after years of real life trials and triumphs. Those who will find themselves delighting in the 12 tracks on this CD can consider themselves even more fortunate, because it almost never happened. Perhaps some things really are just meant to be. 'We never really intended to make a record,' says McCabe. 'It all began as a song writing demo. But then I realized how remarkably everybody was playing together. No matter how prepared you are, a certain amount of getting a good recording is a bit magical. All the live shows and traveling we did together led to spirit in the music you just won't get playing with strangers.' The CD was propelled further forward by the untimely death of Bruce's friend, bassist Doug Nelson, who is featured on all 12 tracks of the record. 'This is a way to showcase just how great a bass player Doug really was. He passed away before the songs were finished and we miss him so much. I know he was proud of his work on these, and that is reason enough for me to get it out. It also got me thinking about my own time on this earth, and I figured, 'Well, if you have it in you to put out a solo record, you'd better do it.' 'I guess what really clinched it for me was that these songs are absolutely the best sounding stuff, sonically, that I've ever gotten on tape.' * Writing credits for Jonny Lang include 'Lie to Me,' 'Still Rainin',' 'Rack 'Em Up,' 'Wander this World,' 'Darker Side' and 'Second Guessing'. He also wrote 'True Friends' on Shannon Curfman's debut CD. Besides playing on Jonny Lang's records, he's recorded with Luther Allison, Bernard Allison, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Big Head Todd, Shannon Curfman, G.B. Leighton, Joe T. Cook, R.J. Mischo and many others, including albums by The Hoopsnakes and Lamont Cranston.