David Anastasia "Hoodadoo Cheaper by the Dozen"

David Anastasia
"Hoodadoo Cheaper by the Dozen"

CD review by Roger Zee (04/22/16)

At one of my gigs, David Anastasia handed me a pre-release copy of "Hoodadoo Cheaper by the Dozen" and asked for feedback. Somehow I ended up writing the liner notes which you'll find on the inner sleeve of this beautiful CD package -- "Hopelessness and despair do not completely define the Blues. Add a dollop of rage, desperation, and on the far side, love and hope. Musically, the Blues encompasses more than just Swing or a deadly slow beat. It includes Country two-step, Waltz, Gospel as well as Rock. The duality of the universe forces love and hate to coexist, to incessantly shift back and forth. Sadness turns to anger and ultimately morphs into joy. Until it reboots. As human beings, we experience it all - over and over again. Thankfully, the grooves and words of David Anastasia's 'Cheaper by the Dozen' provide a delicious transition." By the way, "Hoodadoo" decrypts as "Hoodoo" with David Anastasia's initials in the middle.

A congenial man, David Anastasia has played the Blues seemingly forever! CT residents know him from Four On The Floor, the Hoodoo Blues Band, Fade To Blues, the Walter Lewis Blues Trio, and the Mojomatics. He performs here on bass, guitar, and wrote all ten tunes. Produced by Paul Opalach, the CD includes vocalists Manny Foglio (also on harp), Howard Eldridge, JD Seem, Rick Castillo, Edlene Hart, Helene Logan; drummers Scott Logan, Mike Evanchik; guitarists Greg McCullough, Bill Barrett, Paul Opalach, Helene Logan; keyboards Paul Opalach, John Young; violin Bobby Pickett; mandolin/dobro/banjo Dan Bonis; Sax Crispin Cioe.

So many good songs to chose from. I love Manny Foglio's cooing purr and warm harp caressing his vintage car in "Automotive Blues." Greg McCullough kills it on slide guitar. Foglio channels his inner Billy Gibbons while conjuring up a "Poison Brew" to deal with some "personal" issues. More low-down slide by Greg McCullough. On the title track, JD Seem extols the good life while Paul Opalach man-ups on the slide. "Well it's cheaper by the dozen, moonshine whiskey and plenty of good living. I'm going stake my claim on this road all alone." In the folk Blues, "Ring of Gold," JD Seem laments that he finally found the perfect woman only to lose her! You can palpate the heartbreak in Rick Castillo's voice as he pleads with his lady not to leave in the R&B, "It's Too Late for Crying."

The Blues lives. And will continue to do so as long as human beings fight, cry, rape, murder, love, hate, break up, and get back together. No drum machines here!

2016 Roger Zee