While blues is the springboard, Big Sugar
may simply be too eclectic for its own commercial good. The improvisational twists of Monk
's "Bensha Swing" and mellow jazz vibe of Hoagy Carmichael
's "Stardust" won't sit comfortably in everyone's books with the R&B shuffle of "Sleep In Late" or "Motherless Children"'s wicked slide guitar. "Come Back Baby" plays with the riff to The Champs
' "Tequila"; Infidels vocalist Molly Johnson
(who Big Sugar
back up in clubs as a jazz-standards side-project) does the vocal honors on "'Round Midnight." Gordie Johnson
himself pens the discs two highlights: both "Groundhog Day" and "Goodbye Train" feature funky, lurching rhythms and muscular guitar work that offer just the right blend of originality and familiarity.