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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Illinois Entertainer" Reviews "It's A Mystery" by Mr. G & the Mystery Band

I picked up a copy of the May "Illinois Entertainer" yesterday and was pleased to see the that the publication wrote a reveiw of the Mystery Band's debut CD. I am grateful to Beverley Zeldon-Palmer for her attention to our work. By the way, folks - you can buy the Mystery Band CD at CD Baby the link is
Here is the review:

By Beverley Zeldin-Palmer
Illinois Entertainer
May 2009

It’s A Mystery is the title of the debut solo CD by Mr. G and the Mystery Band, which is led by harp man/vocalist/songwriter Chris “Mr. G” Gillock. “Investment banker by day, musician by night” is how Gillock describes himself on his blog, “Mr. G’s Thoughts for Free.” The Mystery Band was born in an impromptu fashion when Gillock offered to put a group together and perform at Bill’s Blues in Evanston on Thanksgiving night in 2003. It has undergone a number of transitions since then, but the core of the band has coalesced around a group of stellar musicians the include guitarist Anthony Palmer (full disclosure: my husband), bassist Greg “E.G. McDaniel, guitarist OSee Anderson and drummer James Carter.

The original, concept of The Mystery Band was to bring Chicago’s finest blues musicians together to jam and have a good time. But you can’t keep a good band down. The sheer firepower of the band led to a local following at clubs like the Morseland in Chicago and C.J. Arthur’s in Wilmette. The logical step was to go into the studio, where “It’s A Mystery” was born.

Mr. G is the harp-playing vocalist, songwriter and impresario who holds it all together. He wrote the 11 tunes that comnprise the CD, featuring blues, funk, reggae and New Orleans soul. He is a cutting songwriter whose often humorous lyrics are reminiscent of musical satirist Tom Lehrer. On Get Out and Walk,” a folksy tune with a Sonny Terry-inspired harmonica opening, he addresses the high price of gas and a public that doesn’t have a clue: "Well, gas is $4.50 a gallon / Gonna cost a lot more soon / You’re complaining while your driving your big old Hummer / Hey Man! What the hell you doin’?/Get out and walk, ride a bike, get on the bus.” He bemoans being levied to death on the slow blues “Paying Taxes,” which features a fierce, in-the-basement guitar solo by Palmer. The title track is a Junior Wells-inspired groove that explores the mystery behind human behavior of all finds along the lines of “Why can’t we all just get along?” Anderson and Palmer wail on this one, complementing each other’s playing with their different but equally compelling blues approach. The rhythm section of McDaniel and Carter is solid through out, especially on the funky “My Dog and Me,” a semi-humorous song about the pain of divorce: “When I first met my wife, I thought she was so fine / But the longer I lived with that woman the more I loved my canine…../But now she’s gone and I must confess I feel dead inside.”

Despite the occasional foray into the serious, Mr. G and the Mystery Band are all about the fun. Their promo material should read, “For a good time, call….”

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