MICHAEL HILLS BLUES MOB
The New Millennium saw Michael Hill’s Blues Mob release their fourth album in 2001 on Singular Records in the U.S. and Dixiefrog in Europe, and “Suite: Larger Than Life” earned the Mob’s usual stellar reviews. Blues Revue said, “SUITE, HIS FIRST ALBUM SINCE 1998’S EXCELLENT NEW YORK STATE OF BLUES, SHOWS HILL EXPANDING ON HIS PREVIOUS WORK”, and “IF ONE IS LOOKING FOR AN ALBUM WITH UNCOMPROMISING MUSICAL AND LYRICAL INTEGRITY, SUITE: LARGER THAN LIFE IS IT”, declared Goldmine.
While the band has always drawn acclaim for Hill’s songwriting and guitar playing, it’s the state-of -the-art musicians in the Blues Mob who have brought the music to soul-stirring reality. The vicissitudes of life and the music business have seen original Blues Mob members Kevin Hill, Tony Lewis and Fred McFarlane as well as first tour member Douglas Booth and E.J. “the Professor” Sharpe move on to Blues Mob alumni status. As of December 2003 Pete Cummings decided to move on to other musical horizons after eight sterling years with the Mob. The band’s tradition of great musicianship continues: Bill McClellan has held down drums/vocals since 1999 and in January 2004, Michael Griot (who toured Europe with the band for a month in 1998) joined as a regular member playing bass guitar, electric upright bass and singing. Back to their roots as a trio, the Blues Mob is more powerful, adventurous and exciting than ever. In addition, they’ve added acoustic music to their arsenal, elevating even further the rich intimacy of their performances. And while cliché and imitation are acceptable to some, no doubt Michael Hill’s Blues Mob and their unique New York-style blues will continue to be in the vanguard of keeping the blues alive and thriving in the 21st century with originality, real life conviction and full-throttle fun. To paraphrase, “DAMN THE CLICHES, FULL SPEED AHEAD!”