By: David Schultz
Mike Mattison has gained a modicum of renown as the lead singer of the Derek Trucks Band and like most musicians, he has another project. Before he teamed up with the Trucks band, Mattision and guitarist Paul Olsen worked the blues as Scrapomatic. On Sidewalk Caesars, their third full length album, they’ve produced a fine collection of no-frills back-to-basic blues. Mattison purrs and growls over the album with his distinctive gravelly, soulful voice all while Olsen guides a tight knit outfit through some finely honed road house style blues.
Scrapomatic takes a laid-back approach to bar room blues, never rushing the beat or pushing the songs against their will. Offering a measured sense of the classic genre, Mattison’s vocals simmer nicely, transforming “The Old Whiskey Show” and “Good Luck With Your Impossible Dream” into blues lullabies that linger comfortably in the air. The only true firepower comes from Derek Trucks, who joins his band mate on two tracks. Amidst Scrapomatic’s basic arrangements, Trucks’ slide guitar gives a savory Allman Brothers style Southern blues feel to “He Called My Name” and “I Want The Truth.”
Sidewalk Caesars revives the juke house blues without forcing you to deal with the sweaty, beer soaked hall.