|In 2014 guitarist CD Woodbury and his band were named “Kings of Beale Street“ at Jerry Lee Lewis’ café and honky-tonk during the group’s first appearance at the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis. The group has been a finalist in Best Self-Produced CD and twice a semifinalist band, while representing the South Sound Blues Assoc and the Seattle-based Washington Blues Society. Capitalizing on the momentum from their 2020 IBC appearance and a successful crowdfunding campaign Woodbury brought the band into the vaunted Robert Lang Studios in Seattle to record his sophomore release as a band leader. “World’s Gone Crazy” also marks a personal victory as his career was nearly cut short due to personal health issues and wrist surgery in 2018. The undaunted blues man returns with fire on a 13-track recording that is representative of the bands barnstorming live show.
The first half of World’s Gone Crazy is a set of eight well-crafted original songs followed by artful arrangements of select cover songs. Woodbury’s skills as a guitarist are not only on display, but also his sardonic wit and evocative storytelling. Each of the bandmembers has a moment to shine throughout the collection, with the muscular rhythm section of journeyman drummer Don Montana and explosive bass player Patrick McDanel laying a firm foundation, while multi-instrumentalist Mike Marinig colors the landscape on keyboards, saxophone and vocals. The quartet delivers a full dose of high energy blues, rock, and soul.
A striking four-part acapella chorus welcomes us into the opening track, ‘Follow The River Home,’ and flows into a rousing slide guitar fueled hill stomp. The slinky swinger, ‘Walk Around Music,’ has Woodbury pontificating on how sweet soul music inspired him to “move his big ol’ body around.” The rocking tango, ‘I Didn’t Know,’ finds him lamenting bitter betrayal with sharp saxophone jabs from Marinig emphasizing his points. The classic twelve bar form is stretched a bit on the sentimental ‘Emerald City Blues,’ while Woodbury recounts his escapades on Beale Street during ‘Memphis Heat,’ with each member getting a hot little solo over the Soul Stew rhythm. The title track eases in with spooky slide guitar howling before settling into a swampy groove and topical reflection on how a working man survives in these troubled times. Montana kicks off the rumbling boogie ‘South Of South Hill’ that features a tasty bass solo from McDanel. Woodbury does his best Fats Waller for the colorfully droll narrative on dieting ‘Can’t Eat That Stuff No More’ while the band plays the blues.
The party shifts to “give the drummer some” as Montana takes over lead vocals for a romp through Chess Records’ standard ‘Wang Dang Doodle,’ followed by a lazy Chicago shuffle ‘Last Go Round.’ Woodbury puts his own spin on the slinky tune ‘Adeline,’ written by fellow Northwest bluesman and IBC champion Kevin Andrew Sutton. Every guitarist who claims the Seattle area as home is only worth his salt if he learns a Jimi Hendrix tune or two. Woodbury puts his stamp on Jimi‘s first hit ‘Hey Joe’ and generously hands the first solo to Marinig and his saxophone before blazing his way out of the 7 & ½ minute epic. Joe Louis Walker wrote the political tirade ‘Preacher And The President’ during the 1998 impeachment proceedings and all CD Woodbury and his band had to do is pump up the volume and push the tempo for their rocking album closer, with lyrics that still ring true today.
CD Woodbury and his “Kings of Beale Street” make a regal statement with the 2020 release, “World’s Gone Crazy,” delivering a tasty and fun set that takes us from Saturday night to Sunday morning.
Rick J Bowen
CD Woodbury – Vocals, Guitar
From a reputation as an ace sideman and “The Northwest’s best kept secret” in the Pacific NW blues scene; CD Woodbury is emerging as an internationally recognized singer, songwriter, and guitarist. The CD Woodbury Band album “Monday Night!” charted internationally in its genre, including 30 weeks at #1 for the Roots Radio Report’s Washington State independent radio chart and peaking at #8 on the international independent blues radio charts. CD Woodbury has 11 Best of the Blues awards from the Seattle based Washington Blues Society including Blues Performer, Songwriter, NW Recording, and has won the Electric Blues Guitar BB Award five times in the past decade. In 2018, hand surgeries and other health issues, plus a relocation had CD considering giving up professional performing for good. “For good” lasted six months, now he’s back and better than ever. CD has performed in stadiums, for two US Presidents, foreign dignitaries, and Jimi’s music for the Hendrix family. He has worked with former Roomful of Blues vocalist Mark DuFresne’s band, Randy Oxford’s All Star Slam, Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method, has been a featured guitarist with Rae Gordon, and has backed numerous one-off performances with artists like Wee Willie Walker, Sugaray Rayford, and (American Idol’s) Sanjaya.
Don Montana – Drums, Vocals
Don Montana’s musical journey began in New Hampshire at the early age of fourteen with both serious study on his instrument and ten years with Unbroken Chain, who played extensively throughout New England. After moving to Seattle in 1996, Don played in multiple bands, including ten years with the legendary NW swinging blues big band, Tim Casey and the Blues Cats. Don has the respect of his peers in the NW blues community as a musical drummer and has been nominated twice for Blues Drummer by the Washington Blues Society’s Best of the Blues Awards. Don has appeared with Mitch Woods and John Nemeth and opened for Charlie Musselwhite, Tab Benoit, Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Ronnie Earl, and Bob Marley’s Wailers.
Patrick McDanel – Bass, Vocals
Patrick McDanel grew up in Lake Forest Park, a suburb north of Seattle, where he discovered a love of music at an early age, beginning with piano lessons. He later gravitated toward other instruments, including bass guitar and trombone, the latter of which he played as a professional musician until the mid-1990s when an injury forced him to switch to bass full time. Artists that Patrick has played with include Mel Torme, The Temptations, Steve Miller, The Four Tops, The Mills Brothers, The Delfonics, The Fifth Dimension, George Clinton Jr., and Terri Nunn. He has been nominated multiple times for the Washington Blues Society’s Best of the Blues Awards for bass and won for new band.
Mike Marinig – Keys, Horns, Vocals
Mike Marinig returns to the band for their 2020 appearance at the International Blue Challenge in Memphis TN representing the Washington Blues Society. Mike was also active in the Derek Holt 50th Anniversary version of the Climax Blues Band and is a band member of local favorites MaD BoJo.