Alligator Records has set an August 9 release date for Lucky Guy!, the highly anticipated new album from fiery, Chicago-based blues ensemble The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling.
Since the 2018 release of their Alligator Records debut, The High Cost Of Low Living, The Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling, has toured relentlessly, playing for wildly enthusiastic fans and winning over critics and radio programmers worldwide. UK tastemaker magazine Mojo said, “Guitarist and singer Nick Moss shows the world his fearsome guitar chops and his complete familiarity with the great tradition of Chicago blues music. Partnered with harmonica-player Dennis Gruenling, Moss creates a two-headed monster that takes the band thundering through crisp originals.”
Lucky Guy!—produced by Kid Andersen (guitarist for Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) and Moss and recorded at Andersen’s Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California—is a foot-stomping showcase featuring the classic Chicago blues sound the band is known for. But, as Moss himself notes, there are also “a few other flavors,” including Louisiana swamp pop, West Coast blues, New Orleans funk, and even some proto-rock and roll. All but one of the 14 songs are originals, with 11 by Moss and two by Gruenling. The band delivers each one with uncompromising skill and authority. Start to finish, Lucky Guy! is a joyous, sonic blast of pure blues power.
Lucky Guy! moves effortlessly from the rollicking title track to the potent shout-out to Chicago, 312 Blood, to the truth-telling slow blues, Sanctified, Holy And Hateful (featuring some of Moss’ most expressive vocals and extraordinary, every-note-matters guitar work). The band—pianist Taylor Streiff, bassist Rodrigo Mantovani, drummer Patrick Seals—are joined by Kid Andersen on five songs (playing rhythm guitar as well as taking a stellar mandolin solo). Blistering guitarist “Monster” Mike Welch joins Moss on The Comet, an emotional tribute to the late bluesman, Mike Ledbetter, a close friend of both Moss and Welch.
Although Moss and Gruenling had known each other for 20 years and had jammed together often, it wasn’t until 2016 that they decided to team up full time. Moss’ expressive and expansive blues guitar playing flawlessly meshes with Gruenling’s monster harmonica chops. On stage, the two communicate seemingly telepathically, as Moss lays down the deepest blues licks and Gruenling’s harmonica wails and howls in perfect response, with Moss’ top-notch band completing the ensemble with their energy and expertise.
With Lucky Guy! and upcoming North American and European tours in the works, The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling will prove it’s not luck but talent that earns them standing ovations night after night as they barnstorm clubs, concert halls, roadhouses and festival stages. “When the band and I get on stage,” says Moss, “the music takes over. We can’t hold back and the energy just comes pouring out. We get carried away and the audience gets carried away with us.”
For more information on Lucky Guy! by The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling: