Crossover Blues (EP)
BluesWax Rating: 7 out of 10
Short and Sweet
The extended-play CD, more commonly known as an “EP” is getting to be a rarity. I haven’t run across a new one in quite a while. Crossover Blues by the Mokats breaks the dry spell. Containing only six songs and just slightly more than twenty minutes of music, this mini-album packs a nice dose of bluesy rock into that small amount of time.
It reminds me a lot of the music of Widespread Panic, another band which embraces the long-hair, blues-induced rock music of the seventies.
Most members of the band were just fourteen years of age when they formed twelve years ago as a cover band in Leicester, United Kingdom. They focused mainly on pop cover songs until they were hired as a resident band on a cruise ship, where they began writing Crossover Blues. The band consists of guitarist and vocalist Maxx Manning, keyboardist Brad Banister, bass player Andy Boulton, and drummer Tom Walker.
“Greed to Feed,” which kicks things off, and “Truth Don’t Cost a Penny” are two of my favorite originals. Not only does Manning have a great, strong voice for rock, but he’s also a spectacular guitarist, too. Manning gives us a really nice taste of some of his blue riffs on top of a Stray Cats-style bass line in “Weaker Man,” creating a kind of rockabilly/blues cocktail.
The Mokats also do a really nice job covering Bobby Womack’s “It’s all Over Now.” This one is quite a bit different than the Rolling Stones version. Banister breaks out some outstanding piano boogie while Manning keeps the rhythm going, a nice one indeed.
I definitely liked what I heard and hope they get enough support from this EP to encourage them to continue on this new path.
Phillip Smith is a contributing writer at BluesWax.
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