Leon Reviews Mark Sallings and The Famous Unknowns - TALKIN' TO MYSELF

Delta Pickin's

Mark Sallings and The Famous Unknowns - TALKIN' TO MYSELF
Vent 30011

From the first time I heard The Famous Unknowns around 1991 in Memphis, as the house band at B.B. King's Club on Beale St., I could tell that Mark Sallings was a musician of the highest caliber. He can also get the best guys around to help him accomplish, what to most people is impossible, that is an album of mostly original material that makes smoke come out of your CD player! A strong singer, a natural born harp and sax player, Mark provides us with yet another gassed-up, full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal blues we have come to expect from him. The two instrumentals, "The Crawl", and "Critter", are the icing on the cake with standout performances by both Mark and Tony Spinner that will curl your toes!

On this, their second Vent release, Sallings wrote nine of the twelve songs straight from his heart, covered some Little Walter and Muddy Waters, and is supported by John Jackson on bass, Ray Reach on Hammond B-3, Chuck Tilley on drums, and the amazing talents of guitarist, Tony Spinner, (check out Tony's three CDs on his delta musicians web site and the audio/ video clip of Tony singing WALKIN' THE DOG, with Mark on sax, on the Mark Sallings web site we provide!). Recorded at Vent Records Studio in Birmingham, AL by Ross Roberts and John Kliner and mixed at Crosstown Studio in Memphis, TN by Rusty McFarland, this disc captures the band in excellent form.

Be sure not to miss any chance to catch The Famous Unknowns live, as they have been entertaining blues fans at festivals, casinos, etc., all over the place. Mark is in Australia touring right now and I think this may just be the CD to bring Mark Sallings and The Famous Unknowns to the level of international exposure they so deeply deserve.

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