The Steve Woolsey Band
Who?: Steve Woolsey, guitar, vocals; Ron LoCurto, guitar; Doug Ackman, drums (live); Al Hury, drums (in studio); Scott Freilich, upright bass.
What?: A soulful blend of blues, folk, rock and singer/songwriter fare.
Why?: Listening to "Dear Mr. Johnson," the second track on Woolsey and Co.'s new collection, "For Mr. J," you're moved by the way the singer pours all he's got into a slow-blues tribute to Robert Johnson, Son House and other seminal blues influences. The heartfelt, sultry song finds guitarist LoCurto spitting shards of eloquent guitar around Woolsey's subtle and soul-drenched vocal. The whole album, in fact, swings comfortably and assuredly, from the jazzy shuffle of "Genesee" to the folk-soaked balladry of "Train." Woolsey and his friends have crafted a stirring collection of roots music songs marked by first-tier musicianship.
What's next?: CD release party honoring "For Mr. J" is 8 p.m. Saturday in the Sportsmen's Tavern (326 Amherst St.).
Check out: www.MySpace.com/stevewoolseymusic
-- Jeff Miers