Scotty & the Bad Boys Blues Band
Reviews "Callin' All Blues"
Scott Bradbury & Jimmy Rogers

 

Artist: Scott Bradbury
Publication: Illinois Entertainer
Date: Sunday March 22nd, 2015
Author: Kevin Toelle

Callin' All Blues with Scott Bradbury & the Bad Boys from Chicago, IL

Bad Boy Blues

Harpist/vocalist Scott Bradbury (who has also employed the moniker "Badboy Scotty") learned to play blues harmonica on the streets of Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, but his musical education took a great leap forward when, on the advice of a fellow street busker, he began to listen to records by blues legends Little Walter and Jimmy Reed. Later, he studied the techniques of other Chicago harp masters like Big Walter Horton, Carey Bell, James Cotton, and especially Junior Wells, who remains a major influence to this day. Bradbury further sharpened his skills by working as a sideman and leading bands that played clubs on both the North and Southsides as well as working with bluesmen John Brim, Floyd Jones, Eddie Taylor, and Sam Lay. Eventually he played around the globe as a member of the Jimmy Rogers Band.

All that experience comes in handy on Bradbury's new solo album, the appropriately christened Callin' All Blues on the Wheeling-based Teardrop label. Bradbury digs deep into the Chicago blues tradition on 10 original compositions as well as one cover, Johnny Otis' flowing "Country Girl." Badboy Scotty has assembled a seasoned and sympathetic band for the project, including Tre' Hardiman on guitar, fellow Rogers Band alumnus Frank Bandy on bass, and veteran drummer Marty Binder, who has toured and recorded with Albert Collins, Coco Montoya, and Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.

Bradbury's songs are strong, ranging from the funky bass-driven workout "Third Eye" with its scratching soul guitar, through the driving shuffle "Looking For My Baby" and its well-placed stops, to the James Cotton-inspired instrumental tour-de-force "Light Fuse Get Away" -- a rapid, no-holds-barred boogie. Slow and mid-tempo blues that feature Bradbury's nimble harp work is also present, and Bradbury includes local references in his song writing, most notably on the superior "Clybourn Avenue." Scott Bradbury's impressive abilities have been apparent to fellow musicians for years; with this outstanding effort he might just receive well-deserved wider acclaim.

top


Artist: Scott Bradbury
Publication: Blues Bytes
Date: Sunday March 22nd, 2015
Author: Tom Coulson

WHAT'S NEW

Scott Bradbury, aka Badboy Scotty, is a harmonica player/ vocalist from Chicago where he learned his musical craft on the streets. Best known for his association with Chicago blues great Jimmy Rogers, he also worked with John Brim, Floyd Jones, Eddie Taylor and Sam Lay for 25 years, touring the US and Europe. Even without knowing his credentials, by listening to his set of music, it's obvious he's hardworking and dedicated, not a rocker wanna-be. It's time for Bradbury to be a leader, with his own CD, Callin' All Blues (TearDrop), released in mid 2004.

I have good news... Scott Bradbury's harmonica playing is superb, reminding me of Charlie Musselwhite's best earlier recordings. Take that to mean qualities of Big Walter Horton. Bradbury's vocal in range is comparable to Darryl Nullish. The words jump out and tell the truth. The production and balance of the recording is excellent. The taste of the guitar solos by Tre' (a regular on the Chicago scene) are very good, never showy or overdone. At one point he uses octaves, two strings in unison, if you will. The rhythm of Frank Bandy, bass and Marty Binder , drums cook and anchor the session admirably. Shuffle rhythms seem to dominate for a few until the slow "Life Story" then the funky "Be Careful What You Wish For". A slow and jazzy "Things I Should" is perhaps the most relaxed for not just the leaders vocal, but the entire band. "Light Fuse Get Away" is the only instrumental of the disc, a jump rhythm, really showing off the caliber of the group, the harmonica out front hinting toward William Clark. "Third Eye" is a medium/slow, with an attractive alternative chord progression on the turnaround just enough to make it stand out. All selections are originals by Bradbury, with the exception of the closer, Johnny Otis' "Country Girl" and as I hoped for, the strongest cut was indeed saved for last. It feels like Jr. Wells "Snatch It Back" and rocks with abandon. I can just imagine seeing Scott Bradbury live. He's holding court at the apex of the right Saturday night, the band kicks into overdrive fueled by inspiration. I take advice from the lyrics he's singing: "Come on let's go baby, let's go out on the town, to the late night spot, where everybody's gettin' down."

top


Artist: Scott Bradbury
Publication: BLUESEYE / THE CROSSROADS BLUES SOCIETY
Date: Sunday, March 22nd, 2015
Author: Mark Thompson

Bradbury is a harp player with a solid history, playing for over 30 years including stints in the bands of Sam Lay plus the late greats John Brim and Jimmy Rogers. For this recording TearDrop owner Frank Bandy has assembled a fine group in support of "Badboy Scotty", with Bandy on bass, Tre Hardiman on guitar and the veteran Marty Binder on drums. Ten of the tracks were written by Bradbury, with the closing tune a spirited cover of the Johnny Otis tune "Country Girl.

I was not familiar with Bradbury before I received a copy of this disc. When I asked Bob Levis about him, Bob raved about Scott's playing, calling him the real deal. That had me eagerly anticipating the arrival of the disc.... Bradbury does not show off his abilities by trying to play everything he knows in a solo. He allows his harp work to accent the songs, going for feeling over technique. The title track leads off the disc with a solid dose of blowin' as the leader trades licks with Tre's guitar. "Life Story", the first of three slow blues tracks, finds Bradbury's playing creating a mournful moan that captures the anguish expressed in the songs lyrics. The other two are just as good, with "Third Eye" telling the story of a woman who has visions in her sleep of her man cheating on her. Bradbury clearly knows how to write a quality song. The lone instrumental cut, "Light Fuse Get Away", gives Scott the chance to stretch out a bit on an up tempo romp with a driving beat from Binder. Another highlight is the outstanding guitar work from Tre'. Like Bradbury, he refrains from playing too much, too fast. Instead, he expertly frames the leader's vocals and harp work with inventive fills. He has a unique sound that grows on you. and the recording sounds fantastic!!! Each musician is very clearly heard in the mix; there is "air" between them. It's hard to explain what I mean by that comment. Perhaps it is better to just say that the disc recreates a "live" sound, which is high praise for any recording. If you want a disc of original contemporary blues, well played by veteran musicians, that respects the tradition learned from the previous generation, this disc will fill the bill. and I bet you'll find it frequently appears in your CD player.

top

Artist: Scott Bradbury
Publication: LIVING BLUES
Date: Sunday March 22nd, 2015
Author: Justin O'Brien

Lifelong Chicagoan Scott Bradbury began playing blues harmonica and singing as a teen in the 60's and served a long apprenticeship in Jimmy Rogers' touring band. For several decades he's nurtured a style that showcases his fine grasp of Little Walter, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, and especially Junior Wells, whose style he is almost single-handedly keeping alive today. Most know him as the front man of the Bad Boys, a seasoned band of working-class musicians that over the years has included brother bassist Tim Bradbury, drummers Dean Haas and Mot Dutko, and guitarists Pete Crawford, Steve Freund, Mark Wydra, Danny Draher and Dave Clark.

But for this, Bradbury's first release (aside from a 1970's era 45), producer and bassist Frank Bandy has chosen to back him with Guitarist Tre' Hardiman (son of guitarist L.V. Banks) and former Albert Collins and Buddy Guy drummer Marty Binder. This capable unit provides solid, straight-ahead support for the switch-it-on-and-go production aimed at inciting a Junior wells/ Buddy Guy vibe between the reliable and experienced Bradbury and young emerging talent Tre'. This combination works fairly well on the title track, Callin' All Blues (not the similarly titled Junior Wells' recording), as Tre' trades flat picked licks with Scotty's warbling and wailing harp. They likewise hit it on the Wells-flavored This Life Don't Last Forever and the rumba-powered Be Careful What You Wish For. Light Fuse Get Away, a fully realized instrumental a la Little Walter, features Bradbury's crisp, swinging harp phrases. Bradbury's relaxed unaffected vocals contribute to the success of songs like This Life, the mellow Things I Should, and Clybourn Avenue, a discourse on the gentrification of yet another Chicago neighborhood. Ten of the 11 mixed-tempo tracks are Bradbury originals, with Johnny Otis' Tramp-style Country Girl the only cover.

top


Artist: Scott Bradbury
Publication: Blues Revue
Date: Sunday, March 22nd, 2015
Author: Tom Hyslop

Blues Bites

Chicago's Scott Bradbury has history (he was a member of Jimmy Rogers band), chops, and tone - he coaxes great Little Walter - inspired sounds from his harp. He also has a killer band, with Frank Bandy (electric bass) and Marty Binder (drums) laying down the groove and guitarist Tre' playing clean-toned, inventive lines. Callin' All Blues (TearDrop TDR 1009)has the songs to pull it all together, including sapient commentary and a Latin beat in "Be Careful What You Wish For," and muted slow blues in "Things I Should," where Tre' approaches Lurrie Bell territory. A hard-swinging harp instrumental ("Light Fuse Get Away") a big shuffle ("Clybourn Avenue") and an up tempo blues played Jimmy Johnson-style ("Don't Turn Your Back On The Blues") are all good.

top


Artist: Scott Bradbury
Publication: Midwest Beat Magazine
Date: Friday September 24th, 2004
Author: Eric Stiner

Callin' All Blues

TearDrop Records is a small, Midwest boutique blues label, that has helped nurture the careers of bluesmen J.B. Ritchie (Power Blues), former member of the Shadows of Knight -- Joe Kelley (The Blue Shadow) and the late Hip Linkchain (Change My Blues).

Producer Frank Bandy (aka "Right-hand Frank") plays bass, and has got an ear for first-class Chicago-style blues. When I first heard Badboy Scotty, I was taken aback by his command of the blues, whether he's playing original cuts like "Clybourn Avenue" or "Don't Turn Your Back on the Blues" or Johnny Otis' "Country Girl". Scotty's blues education includes work with John Brim, Sam Lay and world tours with Jimmy Rogers. "Scott Bradbury's Callin' All Blues is a refreshing blast of authentic Chicago blues from a solid harpist and songwriter; there's 11 top-notch songs on this Teardrop CD.

Callin' All Blues is one of my favorite blues releases of the year so far."

top