Altered Five Blues Band: Charmed & Dangerous (Blind Pig)
Milwaukee’s Altered Five Blues Band is getting up in the world. The hometown blues titans strut with assurance on their fourth album, released by a national label and produced by Tom Hambridge, known for taking Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Susan Tedeschi and Ana Popovic to artistic heights. Jeff Taylor sings in bold, ballsy boasts, even in those few instances on Charmed & Dangerous where the big man in the dark fedora sounds regretful or sad.
That’s no disrespect to how he sells less than positive outlooks—a grin or nonchalant shrug is never far out of reach in his vocal delivery. His Altered brethren aren’t out to reinvent the blues wheel, but do proffer a consistently spirited, tight take on the mainstream electric side of their genre. It would be wonderful were Altered Five to bridge that black and white audience divide, where the latter seem drawn to guitar pyrotechnics and the former tend to come to artists for their continued kinship to R&B or Southern soul. Taylor’s mighty bellow and his band mates’ instrumental flash appeal should satisfy both camps.