The Big Cats: Worrisome Blues

The Big Cats
Worrisome Blues
(Max)

Don’t be misled by the title of The Big Cats’ album. The only blues you’ll find here is deeply imbedded in clean rock and roll tunes. Though there’s occasionally a bluesy guitar riff or harmonica swoon in the midst of this pop-rock jive, it nods more toward hints of modern folk than pure blues. But singer Burt Taggert’s voice does sound like he’s known the underside of luck, with a clear but melancholy pitch standing out smoothly against the major keys of most of the songs. The album’s diversity of emotion makes each song stand out, but whether they’re feeling anger, hope, or sadness, The Big Cats remain true to their rock roots with a warm, cohesive guitar sound. They especially shine on the slower songs such as “Anyhow Again,” a sweet acoustic guitar melody harmonized with lyrics meditating on the tiredness of long roads and lost times. “In the Red” stands out as well, a slow but intense tune with a repetitive, minor key motif and stressed monotone vocals. The harmonica on “Elanita” gives a country feel to this tune that sounds as if it could take place on a cool, lazy summer evening. “Route 66” wraps up the album with eerie vibes resembling John Mellencamp’s “Rain on the Scarecrow,” but still maintaining the steady drum beat and crisp guitar of a kind of worrisome rock and roll.