"Tampa Bay's Bird Dog Bobby's blues roots run long and deep, as does his depth and knowledge of the idiom. Touching on all aspects of the blues, especially Chicago-styled blues, Bobby's four-piece Honey Hounds have 2 distictive attributes: the sizzling, swirling, and scintillating Hammond B-3 work of Dean Germain and Bobby's own relentlessly upbeat vocal style.
"Bird Doggin: Looks like Bird Dog Bobby and the Honey Hounds have upped the ante in local blues. The Dunedin-based quartet has just released their debut CD I Ain't No Pedigree, and its easily one of the best blues albums to come out of the Tampa Bay area. Last year, the Honey Hounds regrouped, changing bass players and adding keyboardist Dean Germain, a veteran Hammond B-3 player who has performed with the Allman Brothers Band, the Count Basie Orchestra and countless others.
The group headed into the studio, intent on creating a top-shelf electric blues album. With a resilient rhythm section and Germain's production expertise, the group has crafted a tightly wound collection of original tunes and covers from such legends as Willie Dixon and Otis Rush.
Bandleader Bob Rhoads (aka Bird Dog Bobby) smokes on lead guitar,
and Germain's keyboard work shimmers in the mix. "Germain's production
skills really made a difference in the album sounding as good as it does" Rhoads
explained, "he has a great set of ears and lots of experience in
the studio". In making the album, Rhoads said "We were just
trying to create the traditional R&B type of framework. Having him
(Germain) in the band has allowed me to get more into the vocals and
rather than having to carry so much of the rhythm. Now, I'm trying to
focus on the strength of the band".
Rhoads wrote more than half the songs on the 12-song disc. His compositions
draw more from the classics - the influences of Elmore James and Albert
King - rather than from today's Texas hotshots. "I consciously tried
to stay away from the Stevie Ray thing" he said. "There's so
much of that being done now. We wanted to keep some of the influences
that maybe aren't being done by so many people".
I Ain't No Pedigree really is feel-good blues, but not at the expense of the music's roots, which range broadly from Buddy Guy to Albert King to Johnny Guitar watson, who Bobby occasionally like to vocally emulate. He's no slouch on guitar, either."
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