The following story was written and reported by Ernestine Chasing Hawk. All content © Native Sun News.
DEADWOOD, SOUTH DAKOTA — It’s not every day that one wants to be singing the blues, but don’t tell that to Brandon Sprague because the recent release of his latest CD “Edge of the World” could have him singing the blues 24/7.
The “Edge of the World” CD could thrust The Brandon Sprague Blues Band away from their regular venue, Deadwood Tobacco Company, and send them reeling to the top of the charts and large-scale professional touring.
It’s not that Brandon hasn’t already been there done that, as he’s opened for B.B. King on the 2004 B.B. King tour and has performed at venues in Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
However with seven of the ten tracks on their new CD being original compositions of Sprague and Rylan Sprague, Brandon, a very bluesy, soulful singer, demonstrates that he is no ordinary artist.
The CD starts out with “Juke Joint Jumpin” a fast paced original piece that wasted no time in getting me jukin’. “Wine is fine but whisky makes me jump and shout.”
The next “Bad Women Good Whisky” Brandon with his raspy voice makes you a believer in what singin’ the blues is all about.
Next the Brandon Sprague Blues Band does their rendition of Junior Watson’s, (who has been dubbed king of West Coast Blues), “Woman” a shuffle song with support of keyboards and saxophone by Ricky Jacobson. This sounds like the full big band experience.
In “Edge of the World,” the CD’s title track is based on a true life haunting experience, featuring soulful blues guitar and vocals by Brandon Sprague.
They pick up the pace with “Women and Cadillacs” a blues jump boogie which showcases the tightness of the band on stops and beginnings. This is a Nite Riders Song.
With “Don’t Throw My Love Away” anyone can see that Brandon was born to sing the blues. A traditional slow Texas style blues number with incredible guitar work and solid rhythm section together on every second of the song.
“No Fun” is a great cover of the Iggy Pop song although the Brandon Sprague Blues Band takes this composition and makes it their own funky shuffle blues, hardly recognizable from the Iggy Pop version.
“In the Middle of the Night” is a steady rolling blues shuffle number and again showcases the band as a cohesive unit with interesting tempo changes.
The song “High Rez” is a modern blues surf style song. If you close your eyes you could imagine a high energy soul background of dancers in the style of Ikettes of Ike and Tina Turner and Tower of Power horn parts.
Vintage Blues defines the last track on the Brandon Sprague Blues Band CD “Thibodaux.” It was composed by Brandon Sprague featuring a true Mississippi delta blues style with Brandon on acoustic slide dobro guitar and special guest John Inmon on second acoustic guitar. This song will take you to the hot Delta while melting the vinyl, complete with microphones from the era.
The CD was recorded at Flash Point Studios in Austin, Texas with renowned Texas guitarist John Inmon as producer. Inmon has been playing since 1962 and once jammed with Jerry Jeff Walker as a songwriter and lead guitarist. He is now with Gary P. Nunn and the Lost Gonzo Band. His other gig is playing guitar and touring with Jimmy LaFave.
“Everything that Brandon plays comes from the heart,” Inmon said and compared his guitar style to that of Derek O’Brien, the legendary Texas blues artist who records with Antone’s Records and regularly performs at Antone’s nightclub in Austin.
The Brandon Sprague Blues Band is comprised of upright and electric bassman Dave Wilson, formerly of California who now lives in Spearfish; keyboards and sax player Ricky Jacobson from Deadwood; and drummer Dave Kelly of Chicago “ who never misses a beat doin’ the Texas shuffle.”
This CD is a must for real Blue’s lovers, so Uncle Mazzie, go out and git yourself one.
(Contact Ernestine Chasing Hawk at firstname.lastname@example.org)