Electric Blues Doctor Live!
Hailing from Bishopville, South Carolina, Drink Small has the biggest, deepest bass voice in the blues. His amazingly expressive sound falls right in between B.B. King and Bo Diddley. But Drink's got a little something extra. I think its his gospel background. Growing up, as Drink puts it, he was "boogalooing on Saturday, hallelujahing on Sunday." It gives his work on the fretboard a little extra reverence and soulfulness. This set's a mouth-watering mixture of blues and soul, including James Brown's "I Feel Good", T-Bone's "Stormy Monday" and Drink's own lusty "I'm In Love With A Grandma". I've never captured better sound on male voice or electric guitar. A Bound For Sound Recording of Exceptional Merit. (#01832)
Drink Small, guitar/vocals
IF YOU ENJOYED ELECTRIC BLUES DOCTOR LIVE!, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT
As the title implies, this disc presents blues doctor Small recorded live, playing electric guitar. The venue is a club in Washington, DC, and unobtrusive accompaniment is provided by J.J. Miller on guitar and harmonica, Wayne Mitchum on bass, and Steve Kent on drums.
The date was 1988, prior to Small's two Ichiban LPs, and, not surprisingly, Mapleshade's production values put the leader's voice and guitar a bit more to the fore than did Ichiban's. The sound is commendably clean and natural because, as the notes boast, there was "no mixing board, filtering, compression, equalization, noise reduction, multi-tracking, or overdubbing." Small, touted as "possibly the only major blues singer today with a true basso profundo voice, works his way through a playlist of mostly familiar material, with quite a lot of good-humored monologue extending most cuts. Although he is a sufficiently distinctive singer and guitarist to make even ten minutes of Stormy Monday bearable, Small is too fine a songwriter to be represented by only two originals both of which are quite good.
Because Small's personality comes through so strongly, this is a more entertaining set than might be expected from the song selection. It provides the best showcase yet for his guitar skills, and an entirely solo set might make a worthy companion especially if it featured more original material.
Bound For Sound:
Recording Of Exceptional Merit.
Austin American-Statesman :
It's time for another cruise through the newest blues as we attempt a roundup of relatively recent recordings that merit your attention and/or purchase. Once again we don't have time (or space) for the also-rans, so regard everything listed below as a recommended selection.
Drink Small not only has one of the best names in a genre where there is fierce competition for a memorable moniker, he also has one of the most commanding voices in the blues. The South Carolina stalwart's Electric Blues Doctor Live! (Mapleshade) is a well-rounded showcase of his distinctive talents, complete with a sampling of Piedmont blues guitar stylings. Small's extensive gospel background gives his deep-voiced singing a special spiritual resonance, but that doesn't keep him from dishing out some down-and-dirty licks, particularly on several rocking blues workouts. The material is varied, ranging from classic blues like T-Bone Walker's Stormy Monday to the hot funk of James Brown's I Feel Good. Small's rendition of The Things I Used to Do is the album's most effective blues number, but his musical personality comes across best on the rousing finale of the Isley Brothers' Shout, a song that allows him to integrate rock, gospel and blues elements into one lively, and heavily personalized, approach.
May 12, 1994