Vargas Blues Band – Last Night
Javier Vargas from Spain has long been one of the blues/rock world’s best kept secrets. He has produced 8 very fine recordings, with a ninth being a greatest hits collection, but has never seemed quite able to gain the attention of a lot of North American fans. That was, until now.
Better watch out North America, for Javier Vargas is about to take you by storm. His latest release, a live set recorded at Buddy Guy’s Legends, is without question among the very finest offerings of live Chicago style guitar blues that I have ever heard, and I’ve heard a great number of them. This recording is surely going to expand Vargas and Company’s fan base from a small circle of die hards to a very large international one. And, it is just about time that people took note of this incredible talent.
Vargas is a powerhouse guitarist who also is among the more tasteful players that I have heard. While many of his other recordings show elements of jazz, funk, Latin, and even flamenco, “Last Night” is purely a Chicago blues masterpiece. While Varas’ guitar is front and center throughout the recording, so are the incredible vocals of Bobby Alexander, who sounds like he was born to sing Chicago style blues. His voice, like Vargas’ guitar, is powerful yet smooth. They are more than capably supported by the first rate bass guitar of Fran Montero, David Lads Sánchez on keyboards, and Jota Marsán on drums. Though Vargas and Alexander are the core, this is very much a team effort and everyone in the band contributes on this great set.
This CD is spectacular from start to finish and one of the finest live recordings in my collection. The live sound quality is extraordinary and really makes you feel like you are front row center for the show. From the opening notes of the Vargas original “Scratch Me Back”, through a great cover of “I Play The Blues For You”, on past the band’s rendition of Jimmy McGriff’s “All About The Girl”, and concluding with Vargas’ thunderous “Black Cat Boogie”, this is a CD that any blues/rock or Chicago blues fan is going to want to own. The CD also comes with an excellent 13 song DVD of the band in concert, which makes this indeed a lot of splendid entertainment for the money.
I rate “Last Night” as an absolute must own, though it is going to be a bit difficult to obtain. You may begin by looking at www.gemm.com, www.cybercd.de or by contacting the band via their official web site at www.vargasblues.com. You will find that it is absolutely worth the trouble to find. If you are unable to find it through conventional online services, drop us a line at Bluesrockers and we will see what we can do to help.
Javier Vargas: Electric Guitar – Fran Montero: Bass – David Lads Sánchez: Keyboards
Jota Marsán: Drums – Bobby Alexander: Vocals
1, Scratch Me Back 2, Big Boss Man 3, Blues Magic 4, Bound For Memphis 5, Make Sweet Love 2 U 6, I Play The Blues For You 7, Can`t You See 8, Do You Believe In Love 9, All About The Girl
10, Last Night 11, Killing Floor 12, Black Cat Boogie
Recorded live at Buddy Guy`s Legends November 1999 with guests Larry McCray and Sugar Blue
1, Manish Boy 2, Black Cat Boogie 3, Body Shock 4, Back Alley Blues 5, Del Sur 6, Illegally 7, Buenos Aires Blues 8, Hard Time Blues 9, Madrid – Memphis 10, Born To Be Wild 11, Chill Out (Sácalo)
12, 2001 Blues
Recorded live in Madrid December 1999 with guests Elena Andújar, David Montes, Gino Pavone,
Jorge Lema and Juan Gómes “Chicuelo”
DRO EAST WEST 2002
Vargas Blues Band Javier Vargas
© Bluesrock.reviews 2002