Q - 11/03, p.1063 stars out of 5
- "...This lively set of rootsy Americana lives firmly in the present....It's the intelligent yet simple songs that really impress..."
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys: Big Sandy (vocals, acoustic guitar); Ashley Kingman (electric guitar, bass); Jimmy Roy (electric guitar, steel guitar); Jeff West (bass, background vocals); Bobby Trimble (drums).
Additional personnel: Jim Manund (acoustic guitar); Joey Altruda (guitar); Gene Taylor (piano); Chris Gaffney (accordion); Shorty Poole (acoustic guitar); The Lonely Blue Boys (background vocals).
Recorded live at Joey Altruda's, Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Big Sandy (vocals, acoustic guitar); Jeff West (vocals); Jim Maund (acoustic guitar); Jimmy Roy (electric guitar, steel guitar); Ashley Kingman (electric guitar, electric bass); Chris Gaffney (accordion); Gene Taylor (piano); Shorty Poole (acoustic bass); Bobby Trimble (drums); Alex Vargas, Ernie Vargas, Lonely Blue Boys (background vocals).
Recording information: Joey's Place, Hollywood, CA.
Photographer: David Harrison.
Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys have added a stronger dose of rockabilly rhythm to a few cuts on their seventh album, It's Time!, but otherwise they haven't changed much -- and there's nothing wrong with that. Big Sandy and company have earned a richly deserved reputation as one of the best retro-country acts on the current scene, and It's Time! boasts 14 more examples of what makes them so much fun. Big Sandy has a big, warm voice that's well suited to vintage styles without ever sounding as if he's mired in the past, and his band understands that a light hand (which guitarist Ashley Kingman and pedal steel man Jimmy Roy have along with chops to spare) is what makes vintage country swing. And It's Time! gives the band a healthy variety of material to play with, including the Cajun-flavored "Bayou Blue," the jazzy "Money Tree," the rockin' "Chalk It Up to the Blues," and the swing-centric title cut, while the live-in-the-studio production by Joey Altruda captures the roomy but dynamic sound of a good live gig. In short, if you dig Big Sandy, It's Time! will chart high on your personal play list, and if you're not familiar with their uptown twang, this is a pretty good place to get started. ~ Mark Deming