April 12, 2017
I don’t know how many drummer/harmonica players there are out there, but if there is a list Randy McAllister has to rank near the top.
McAllister is a blues/roots musician with some country influences thrown in for good measure. His sound may not be the smoothest you have ever heard but he more than makes up for it with energy, his superb harp playing, and three decades of honing his craft.
“My Stride,” “Leave A Few Wrong Notes,” and “East Texas Scrapper” all feature his harmonica virtuosity and leave one wishing many of the other songs would feature it more.
He has always been a competent song-writer, who is able to tell stories through his music. “Band With The Beautiful Buss,” “The Oppressor,” and “C’mon Brothers And Sisters” take the listener for a ride through the mind and soul of a Texas musician. “Ride To Get Right” is his ode to Otis Redding and Earl King.
McAllister’s 14th album covers a lot of ground but with energy and passion. Fistful Of Gumption is music for the mind and soul.
February 28, 2016
Randy McAllister is now nearly a dozen albums into his career. He is one of those hardcore bluesmen who is a road warrior, plying his craft in hundreds of towns and clubs each year, taking some time off every once in awhile to enter the recording studio and produce an album of well created blues that branches off in a number of directions.
He originally trained as a drummer but has emerged as one of blues music signature harp players. When combined with his blues laden vocals and ability to write lyrics for his energetic music, you have an artist whose music has acquired a nice patina and one who deserves more commercial success.
“The Kid With The Really Old Soul” and “The Push” blast the album out of the starting gate with the raw energy of a southern blues/rock fusion with McAllister’s harp leading the way. “Something That Don’t Cost A Dime” feature nice interplay between McAllister and guitarist Rob Dewan. “Bowling Pin” is an all too short two minute piece that finds McAllister wailing on his harp supported by some tasty slide guitar from Dewan.
“I’m Like A Boomerang” and “Glass Half Full” prove that he is able to create music that is more complicated and has a fuller sound. The first has two guitars and an organ, which create a number of layers waiting to be explored. “Glass Half Full” has a brass section in support, which moves the music to a different level.
McAllister’s approach to the blues has always been a little unique. His harp and personal lyrics fuel his music. If you have not been exposed to McAllister, give Gristle To Gold a try.