Take Me Back
Take Me Back, A Collection of Houserockin' Piano Blues Classics This collection of piano based blues and boogie-woogie music represents a 40-year span of my pursuit into the rich musical heritage that is American blues. Having seen the blues tradition come to life in the San Francisco South Bay Area during the cultural explosion of the 1960's and watching it mature over the last 4 decades, I'm thrilled to be able to, with a lot of help from my friends, release these recordings that represent my passion for music. As a teenager in the 60's I began playing piano in a blues band with South Bay blues pioneer Gary Smith. Gary later introduced me to pianist Alberto Gianquinto, a San Francisco native who was a member of the original James Cotton Blues Band. For a short time in the early 70's, Alberto was my mentor. He was indeed one of the most gifted blues pianists I ever heard, and to this day his influence remains strong. It needs to be mentioned that in this current season of my life I've had the good fortune to have Chris "Kid" Andersen as both the recording engineer for this entire project, and the guitarist on most of the tracks. Kid's efforts and remarkable abilities are the reason these recordings happened. Kid, who is the newest member of Rick Estrin and the Nightcats headlines the band for this session, which is made up of the cream of the crop from the San Francisco South Bay. From Charlie Musselwhite's band, June Core shares the drumming with Butch Cousins, who is Terry Hanck's regular drummer. Members from my regular band, the Roadhouse Rockers, are Gary Weller on guitar, Frank DeRose on Bass, and superb saxophone playing by Jack Sanford. The songs on this album are an attempt to show a variety of regional blues piano styles. It opens with Amos Milburn's House Party (Tonight), which sets the tone for a rockin' good time, Texas style. Take Me Back, an original blues and the title track, follows with a bit more of a West Coast feel. A trip to New Orleans is the next song, Longhair's Blues Rhumba, one of my favorites by Professor Longhair. The next two selections, Worried Life Blues and Texas Stomp, are both Big Maceo standards that I've offered my own interpretations of. All By Myself, by Fats Domino follows, although this version has a hint of a James Booker influence. Union Avenue Boogie is one of mine but it comes from a variety of styles. An Otis Spann inspired rendition of C C Rider follows it, both songs with some big help from Kid's inspired blues guitar work. Up next is another Amos Milburn tune, Let's Rock Awhile, a casual little Texas jump. I've always enjoyed Little Brother Montgomery's Bass Key Boogie, so here's my version. Charles Brown's A Virus Called The Blues is next, and it's the one ballad I hope I can do justice to. Rockhouse, the Ray Charles classic, follows. Down Ensalmo Way is an instrumental I wrote about the San Jose neighborhood I live in. One For The Highway, another Fats Domino tune, is another visit to the Crescent City, as is the final selection, Tee Na Na, an instrumental ballad that quietly ends the session. So there it is. These songs are what I'm about, and what life is about. I hope you find them real. Sid Morris 11/21/08.