Mike Keller has played lead with, among others, the post-SRV Double Trouble, Doyle Bramhall, Sr., Marcia Ball, and the Fabulous Thunderbirds – in other words, the elite of the Austin blues scene. He and brother Corey, on drums, moved from Minneapolis to Austin to play the blues and have obviously succeeded.
Three of the five members of this quintet handle lead vocals, but somehow the CD’s continuity doesn’t suffer (think early Asleep At The Wheel or Muddy Waters’ history of sidemen stepping forward). Considering covers of Muddy (“Kinfolk’s Blues,” featuring Keller’s slide), Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Eddie Clearwater’s “Real Good Time” mingle with originals, they do a commendable job.
This is lowdown stuff, with everything soaked in reverb. A highlight is the funky instrumental “SoBro,” which starts as a Greg Izor harp feature, modulates to a Keller guitar showcase, then circles back. The set closes with the swinging instro, “Evangeline Shuffle,” named for the South Austin Cajun cafe where the Peacemakers play weekly. When you’re in town, don’t miss them – and be sure to try the dessert pistolette.
This article originally appeared in VG December 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.