Perfume & Grime

(with Luther Allison)

By Maureen Hayes, Da Blues Traveler

Visiting my Blues Buddy Lenny the other day, he played something off a CD that reached deep inside me but I haven't decided how this one touches me yet.  It's spiritual in the beginning with a Middle-Eastern Indian kind of feel.  What's that called?  A sitar?  It's a doosey of an intro!

Different and Lenny said the first time he heard it, he almost fast-forwarded it but some teasing of lead guitar in it kept him hanging on.  He said he was glad he stuck it out it because what it went into was way more than he expected.

Then the guitar comes in and is crying out.  Reaching out like as if in pain and crying.  And if that's not enough, here comes another that really cries out.  It was bringing tears to my eyes, my chest tightened up, and I was rocking, and I just wanted to yell out at the world to get its shit together when they started playing together!  Both leads, both screaming out.  One on the slight edge of tasteful shredding and the other just plucking them in there.  Very intense and I was spiritually awakened on this one.

Of course when it comes to Luther Allison, it never fails to be a spiritual journey. Wish I would have got a chance to see this man in person.  I can feel it through his records, I can't imagine what a club gig would be like!

I've had a few experiences at shows where tears came to my eyes.  I don't know, maybe it was the moment how everything comes together.  My mood, the surroundings, how someone might be feeling on stage.  Luther can really make one?s heart feel heavy with the weight of the world and then lift you up and get you started into spreading love, peace and equality to all around the world.


I'm sorry to have jumped ahead here.  The song actually came from Otis Grand's Perfume & Grime, the title song.  Never heard it before than and you can bet I went out and got that CD.  The whole thing is pretty darn good with Darrell Nullisch singing on a few.  I just love that guy?s voice!  Especially when he stays blues.  Not much into the soul stuff.  Curtis Salgado sings a few.  Joe Louis Walker plays a real nice down-home slide on "100 Years" accompanied by Otis on lead and 12 string.  Curtis' singing is at its best on this one.

Darrell's best is "When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer."  Aaah to die for...Nice slow blues that really features his chords.  Otis takes care of the guitar on his own once again.  That's it, just Darrell's voice and Otis' guitar and that's all that was needed.

The front of the CD says, "Otis Grand" and that's pretty much what you get besides a few guest appearances.  There's one that sounds just like ?Mustang Sally? and that one gets the fast-forward.

"Magic Mood" is a killer instrumental!  Not better than the title song though.  Beautifully arranged with an accordion featured in it and filling in with some rhythm.  It's called a diatonic accordion.  Nice sound.  But really...the song features Otis' guitar.

Nice tasteful horns arrangements on some songs and kept in the back.  Very nicely produced.  Like I said...Otis Grand is the name on the front and Otis Grand is pretty much what you get!!

I love that.

Only wanting to fast-forward through a couple songs, AND THE TITLE SONG ALONE, Otis Grand's ?Perfume & Grime? is well worth the $11 I spent.  That's right, I've noticed CDs have indeed gone down about a buck and a half.  A trade-in is a help too.  (I will never say who gets the trade in ;)

Love ya Luther wherever you are and I hear you calling....

...da Blues Traveler