CD Review – Coyote Kings w/ Mush “Nasty Habits & Dirty Little Secrets”
For over a decade Wall Walla’s Rob Barrett and his Coyote Kings have been a driving force in the eastern Washington blues scene and now are the proud hosts of the 2nd Wall Walla guitar festival. In 2010 the Kings teamed up with power house vocalist Michelle “Mush” Morgan, releasing the critically acclaimed album Move, in 2011. Their follow up, Nasty Habits and Dirty Little Secrets, features eleven new songs immaculately produced and penned by Barrett who tag teams lead vocals duties with Morgan equally and offers a bonus instrumental track for good measure. The album kicks off with the Texas BBQ styled funk of the title track featuring Morgan belting out vocals as gritty as the guitar riffs. The six eight blues of “the Best You Couldn’t Do,” burns icey hot with a feel reminiscent of Robert Cray including a jagged guitar solo from Barrett and moaning B3. Barrett pushes his baritone to the max on the low down blues of “Hard To Be a Man,” matching notes with the guitars on an infectious turn around hook, a nice touch on a classic theme. After the clever but maybe too cute sing along of the funky “Baby Wake Up,’ Morgan gets to stretch out on the mournful “Baby’s Gone.” Barrett gives us a fine twist on a classic lazy shuffle feel with his own “My Rider,” featuring some great barrelhouse piano from Doug Scarborough. The surf rock boogie “That Hot Daddy,” is bound to be popular dance floor filler. The album hits it’s highpoint with the sweet southern fried backyard lullaby “Afternoon Sun,” with a laid back groove so smooth you can taste the ice tea and feel the warm summer breeze. The Album ends with the poignant honky tonk blues “Am I Getting’ Wise,” which finds Barrett doing his best Delbert McClinton and preaching the blues of an experienced road dog. Nasty Habits and Dirty Little Secrets will satisfy long time fans of the Coyote Kings and its high production value should win over some new ones as well.
Rick J Bowen