Tom Hambridge – Blu Ja Vu
One would be hard-pressed to find anyone more involved with the American blues scene over the last thirty years than Tom Hambridge. The singer-songwriter, drummer, and multi-Grammy award-winning producer has worked with a virtual who’s who list of the blues world since the early nineties.
With his new release Blu Ja Vu, his latest solo release since 2018’s brilliant The Nola Sessions, Hambridge once again displays his superior talent as a blues frontman in his own right as this album sizzles and pops with Hambridge’s charismatic vocals and consummate drumming leading the way.
He is in complete control as his scorching backing band and guest stars lead the listener in a fluid and masterful manner through a blues soundscape that is at times fiery, lusty, blistering, and smoldering at equal turns.
While this entire album rocks and shakes from beginning to end, particular highlights include “Ain’t it Just Like Love” (with Buddy Guy), “That’s My Home” (with Joe Bonamassa), “Wear You Out,” the “Blues Don’t Care” (with Christone “Kingfish” Ingram), “Symptoms Of Love,” “Brother John Boogie” (with James Cotton), “Get Out Of Town” and “Smarter Than I Was” (with Josh Smith).
While I don’t pretend to be a sage when it comes to this kind of thing, I can’t fathom the possibility that this album doesn’t garner Hambridge Grammy consideration as a solo artist after his four wins as a producer (three with Guy and one with Ingram). The Recording Academy should do the right thing and give Hambridge his fifth Grammy for this superlative effort.
Blu Ja Vu is not only one of the best blues albums of the year, it is one of the best albums of the year 2023 in any category. Listen to this magnificent record and hear one of the music industry’s supreme masters at work and play.
Blu Ja Vu by Tom Hambridge was self-produced by Hambridge and is now available everywhere including on his website at http://hambridgetunes.com/
Credits: TOM HAMBRIDGE on Drums & Percussion, Vocals, BUDDY GUY on Guitar & Vocals; CHRISTONE “KINGFISH” INGRAM on Guitar & Vocals; JOE BONAMASSA on Guitar & Vocals; JOSH SMITH on Guitar; JAMES COTTON on Harmonica; CHUCK LEAVELL on Keyboards; GLEN WORF on Bass; ROB MCNELLEY on Lead & Rhythm Guitars; BOB BRITT on Guitars, TOMMY MACDONALD on Bass; KEVIN MCKENDREE on Keyboards; JON COLEMAN on Keyboards, and EMIL JUSTIN on Background Vocals.