Howard and the White Boys – Made In Chicago

Made In Chicago

The Howard who hangs here with the White Boys is Howard McCullum, bassist and vocalist extraordinaire. The White Boys are a fine bunch of players that include Rocco Calipari and Pete Galanis on guitars. Both play lead and rhythm, and their combined talents create a feast for guitar lovers.

This record is mostly a collection of covers. The opener is a cover of the ZZ Top classic “She Loves My Automobile” with the perfect bar-band shuffle, great vocals, and solos that feature everything from fat, slightly distorted sounds to biting, nasty Fender sounds. “Good Booty and BBQ” gives the boys a chance to funk it up with heavy ninth-chord riffing and lots of wah. By the time the solos kick in at the end, the boys are trading fours before melding into two guitars playing together seamlessly.

Their funk chops pop up again on “Black Cat Bone,” a track that yes, has been done to death, but here gets a hard funk. Job well done. “Walking to My Baby” has a great New Orleans feel with a solo that includes fine chicken pickin’. Their cover of Robert Cray’s “Phone Booth” smartly features the tunes basic outline, but with a solo that doesn’t cop Cray’s sound, instead employing a fluid, Allmanesque feel.

The only slow blues on the disc, “Cold, Cold Feeling,” gives both guitarists a chance to show their soulful chops and great tone. And as with every track, it features a great vocal from McCullum. They wrap things up with one of the two originals, Calipari’s “Coming Home,” an instrumental rocker where both guitarists wrap themselves around the tune.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jun. ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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