180 Gram Vinyl Record
Two classic covers and nine originals
Bernard Allison honors his lineage with Highs & Lows
For 56 years, music has been Bernard Allison's essence. As the youngest son of the much-missed Chicago bandleader Luther Allison, he was a bluesman from birth. One week after graduating high school, Bernard cut his teeth on the road with Koko Taylor's Blues Machine lineup and ended up staying for most of the '80s. By the close of the decade, however, he assumed a twin identity, leading and writing for his father's band, while forging a solo career that exploded in Europe off the back of early albums such as The Next Generation (1990), No Mercy (1994) and Funkifino (1995).
Now, released in February 2022 on Ruf Records, Highs And Lows sees Bernard acknowledge his lineage through two classic songs by his father — "Gave It All" and "Now You Got It" — while offering nine originals. Try the irresistible groove of "Hustler": a funk gem written by Bernard with Andrew Thomas, whose horn-and-harp groove evokes the strut of the title character. Or the masterful "Last Night," which shifts tempo from an upbeat chop to a weeping slow-blues, capturing the changing moods of a man chasing his runaround woman. As for the title track, Bernard says it speaks for anyone left bemused by life's rollercoaster: "It's a part of life, the ups and downs that everyone deals with."
Right now, with a new album of stellar material to take out on tour, Bernard Allison is back in the ascendency — and the man can't wait to return to his natural habitat. "The song 'So Excited' is basically about the excitement of being able to be back on the road again," he says. "I think everyone can relate to that."
Bernard Allison, vocals, lead guitar/rhythm guitar, organ, guitar on track 4, 6, 10
George Moye, bass guitar
Dylan Salfer, rhythm guitar
Steve Potts, drums
Jose Ned James, saxophone on tracks 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11; tambourine on track 11
Toby Lee Marshall, Hammond B3 on track 3, 8, 9, 11; Wurlitzer piano on track 3
Colin James, vocals, rhythm, lead guitar on track 4
Bobby Rush, vocals, harmonica on track 6
|Side A||1. So Excited||2. Highs & Lows||3. Strain on My Heart||4. My Way or the Highway – feat. Colin James||5. Side Step||6. Hustler – feat. Bobby Rush||
|1. Now You Got It||2. I Gave It All||3. My Kinda Girl||4. Satisfy Her Needs||5. Last Night|