|Bucks County guitar man, Mike Guldin, lives by the prophetic word of the Wille Nelson song “The Life I Love Is Making Music with my Friends,” slinging a six string since a teenager and leading his band, Rollin’ & Tumblin’, for over twenty years. His fifth album, The Franklin Sessions, are eleven new tracks recorded at The Rock House in Franklin TN, owned and operated by Grammy-winning musician and producer, Kevin McKendree. The pair brought in Guldin’s band mates and a gathering of special friends to capture the nine originals and three cover songs. The players include Kevin McKendree, James Pennebaker, David Santos, Yates McKendree, Tim Hooper, Bill Sharrow, Billy Wear, Mikey Junior, Su Teears, along with the Philadelphia Funk Authority Horns – Dale Gerheart, Kyle Hummel, Neil Wetzel, Andrew Kowal – with background vocals from The McCrary Sisters.
Young phenom Yates McKendree delivers the beat, and his Dad, Kevin, lays down the barrelhouse piano on the opening twelve bar “Franklin Shuffle.” The crew gives Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killin’ Floor,” the full Rollin’ & Tumblin’ treatment, stretching out the blues standard like the Allman Brothers at the Fillmore. Guldin and The McCrary Sisters take us to church on the gospel fueled plea for benevolent hope “The Right Thing” that features Yates on lap steel. Guldin offers some free advice over a slinky second line beat from Billy Wear on the New Orleans spiced “Sometimes You Gotta Roll The Dice,” and he trades hot licks with young McKendree on the Chicago Blues prototype “Blow Wind Blow.” The rhythm section swings hard with the Authority Horns adding color to the sentimental Retro Soul ballad “Prisoner Of Love.”
Guldin lauds the charms of his lady during the Texas shuffle, “Smokin’ Woman,” and powerhouse vocalist Su Teears joins him for the horn driven duet “Two Hearts,” adding more Philly Soul to the mix. The vaudeville blues-style song, “Sad And Lonely,” is a snappy ramble ala Trouble In Mind. Guldin demonstrates his sharp tongue and quick wit on the jaunty “Gettin’ Over You Is Workin’ Over Me.” The album finale, “Divin’ Duck Blues,” rocks hard on a driving bass line from Bill Sharrow and Mikey Junior adds hot blues harp to the jamming take on the much-loved Sleepy John Estes’ classic.
The Franklin Sessions were reportedly a brief affair with the tracking done in only a few days, but they bear some fine fruit in the harvest.
Rick J Bowen
Mike Guldin first picked up the guitar at age 15 and since then has honed his craft playing in roadhouses, clubs and bars, and Festivals and Theaters for over 45 years. Influenced by blues legends Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Albert Collins, The Three Kings (BB, Albert and Freddie), Guldin is also inspired by contemporary artists including The Allman Bros, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan, and The Rolling Stones. R&B/Soul icons Sam & Dave, Booker T and The MG’s, Reverend Al Green and The Memphis Stax and High Tone Records grooves are also a heavy influence, along with the Southern fried Muscle Shoals sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws and a slew of country and crossover artists like Delbert McClinton and Lee Roy Parnell. It is little wonder that stinging guitar and soulful vocals are second nature for Guldin. When combined with the raucous backing sounds of his band, “Rollin’ & Tumblin’,” all of these inspirations come to life into blues they have branded “Good Ole Butt-Shakin’ Music!”
Full bio @ https://mikeguldin.com/mike-guldin.