If you’re drowning in a sea of “blooz” mediocrity, you need to check out the Dig 3. The Chicago-based trio delivers no-nonsense blues free of affectation. Though this is the group’s debut album, the members are veterans of artists like Jimmy Johnson, Nick Moss, Lurrie Bell, and Kilborn Alley Blues Band.
Gerry Hundt cites among their collective influences Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and harp ace Jim Liban. Their sparse sound also brings to mind Canned Heat’s peak years.
Not surprisingly, Hundt also gigs as a one-man band. Here, he simultaneously plays foot-drums and six-string bass or slide guitar. On two cuts, he blows harmonica on a rack along with the group’s harpist, Ronnie Shellist. Vocals are handled by Andrew Duncanson, whose assured guitar playing touches on Reed, Eddie Taylor, and John Lee Hooker. Everything was cut live in the studio with no overdubs, and the repertoire of originals sounds authentic without being academic.
If a time machine had plunked the Dig 3 down during the late-’60s blues revival, they surely would have won a big audience. But thankfully, they’re here and now, bringing much-needed upbeat blues to contemporary ears.
This article originally appeared in VG’s December 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.