Doug Duffey

REVIEW: Doug Duffey & Badd “Trapped In the Blues”


Doug Duffey & Badd – Trapped In the Blues

What’s apparent with this showcase is how clean the production is. It miraculously captures the gritty groove of what the blues should be with the lead vocals dipped gently into a Leon Russell vibe.

This is Doug Duffey & Badd’s 2nd offering with 9 new energetic blues (think the early Fabulous Thunderbirds). They have a distinct polished & gussied-up presentation. The blues isn’t supposed to be happy, it’s a melancholy, down-on-your-luck genre but Duffey manages to smartly conceive tunes with an element of accessibility for those who aren’t necessarily aficionados of the genre.

The magic ingredient is punctuating Hammond organ chords on tunes that help the bass lay down thick chords & solos. Duffey’s vocals project well & the lead guitar prowls seductively around the band.

“Trapped In the Blues,” is expressive. Where the showboating could surface Doug adds luster instead where basic blues artists don’t. Many believe they need to belt it out & twist their words into pained phrasing whereas this suffices with urgency & ebullience — more Roy Buchanan than Stevie Ray Vaughn.

It’s easy to assume this is a well-rehearsed band but you can’t rehearse feeling, apply it to a groove & add good vibes. That’s inherent in the soul of the musicians. They have it. They’re actually revisiting early J. Geils Band before they allowed too much syrup to pour over their repertoire.

This is not the growl blues of Long John Baldry or the harmonica-drenched angst blues of Duster Bennett. It’s a well-balanced basic blues with added flavors – like personality. Produced by Dan Sumner (bass/electric & acoustic guitars/vocals/percussion/multi-instrumentalist) & Doug Duffey (lead vocals & keys) Trapped In the Blues (Drops Sept 15–Independent) was recorded in Louisiana.

When they feel like they may be leaning too heavily into a blues-pop confection they just need to listen to Canned Heat to replenish their batteries. If ever. This hasn’t happened yet & may never. They have that traditional weave & “Something’s Gotta Give,” while not as ambitious as a John Mayall does cartwheel through vintage Canned Heat territory. That’s the reason they’ve lasted since 1965.

“Nobody Cares About You,” & “Let ‘Er Rip,” are superb. The Southern blues, Delta soul, Bayou folk & Dr. John gumbo jazz work every time. “Let ‘Er Rip,” with Lisa Spann’s backup vocal makes it sound like the early Delaney & Bonnie + Friends.

The band falls victim to cliches once on “Every Dog Got It’s Day” but redeem themselves quickly with “Gettin’ Along Just Fine,” — slinky the way Southside Johnny & the Amboy Jukes were on “I Ain’t Got the Fever No More.” This is an entertaining CD.

Highlights – “All Your Time,” “Trapped In the Blues,” “Talk To Me,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “Nobody Cares About You,” “Let ‘Er Rip” & “Getting’’ Along Just Fine.”

Musicians – Ben Ford (bass), Adam Ryland (drums) & Lisa Spann (bgv).

CD @ Apple &

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