Roadhouse Rhythm (Wah Wah Boy 001), Philadelphia-area Stalwarts Mike
Guldin and Rollin & Tumblin, two time International Blues Challenge
finalists, are tight and have great presence, with two fine guitars
(Guldin and Alan Howe) and keys (Karl Frick and Tim Hooper) in front
of a tough rhythm section (C.J. Clark and Billy Wear) - not to mention
guests EG Kight, Tommy Castro, Delbert McClinton's horns (Terry Townson
and Don Wise), Denise NeJame and James Pennebaker - pushing a wall
of soul sound. The set list ranges from Edwin Starr's Motown smash
"25 Miles" to Little Richard's "Lucille", and
from the Memphis sound of "You Left the Water Running" to
McClinton's minor-key "I Wanna Love You", with originals
hitting acoustic blues ("The Cost of Going Broke"), Chicago
(Snuggle Man"), Soul ("Don't Take Your Love Away",
my pick for best track), and roadhouse rockers (the title cut). It
all sounds good, and fun is at a premium!
Hyslop for Blues Revue's "Blues Bites"
is delicious on a Friday night when the beer is cold and the pool
table is open. I’m talking about the bar here, people, and the
soundtrack to your late-night debauchery. Blues will always be the
best thing to hear in a bar, because it’s got the beat, it’s
got that “let’s grab a drink” spirit and it has
some pretty good guitar solos (just wanted to throw that in there).
But most importantly it’s fun, and I think this is Mike Guldin’s
record is in-your-face blues, with danceable beats and tight musicianship.
The band, which is comprised of a slew of talented members, maintains
the tight vibe throughout Roadhouse Rhythm. Guldin’s voice
is good and gritty, but CJ Clark, the band’s bass player,
certainly gives Guldin a run for his money on 25 Miles.
out of an open mic gig back in 1989, Mike Guldin and Rollin’
& Tumblin’ have made quite a name for themselves on the
regional circuit since that time. WIth the release of their second
CD, “RoadHouse Rhythm”, it’s clear the band seeks
to make an overture toward a national audience. With two respectable
? nishes at the International Blues Challenge and boasting musical
guests, Tommy Castro (playing lead on “Lucille”), Handy
Award nominee EG Kight, Delbert McClinton sidemenJames Pennebaker
(Guitar), Terry Townson (Trumpet), Don Wise (Tenor Sax), and blues
vixen Denise NeJame, you’d have a right to expect a lot from
“RoadHouse Rhythm.” The good news is, you won’t
6 originals and 7 covers on “RoadHouse Rhythm”, Guldin
pays tribute to some of his greatest influences while establishing
himself as a strong lyricist and composer. And although this CD
is filled with guest appearances, the focus is clearly on Mike and
his Tumblers. Rolling rhythms in a
Memphis vein with an ample helping of guitar, keyboard and organ
leads provides the listener with a fairly accurate interpretation
of their live sound. For fans of the band, RoadHouse Rhythm is a
must have.The mix of covers runs the gambit from blues classics
like the Albert Collins/ Little Richard’s “Lucille”,
to Dan Penn’s, “You Left the Water Running,” all
the way to the Edwin Starr soul gem, “25 Miles” -which
comes off as out of place and somewhat unconvincing, performance-wise
(it’s a crowd pleaser
live, but would have been better left for the stage). “RoadHouse
Rhythm” does do a wonderful job of exposing the vocal strength
of Guldin but the vocal highlight on the album has to be CJ Clark’s
stirring rendition of the Delbert hit, “I Wanna Love You”.
The band does a terrific job supporting CJ’s soulful rendition
featuring a beautiful organ line that is seasoned with strong leads
from Tumbler Alan Howe and guest guitarist, Ron Burns. Another strong
cover is the Dan Penn/Gary Nicholson tune, “Memphis Women
and Chicken”. Demonstrating why they’re called Rollin’
& Tumblin’ on this southern style tune, the band lays
down a heavy rhythm while Guldin’s strong vocal presence mixes
quite nicely with featured female talent, Denise Nejame (who appears
on several tunes). As well, “Angel Eyes” is a soothing
piece that is well played, although the the drums come off a bit
pale at times. On the original side, Mike Guldin has to be pleased
with what he’s produced on “Roadhouse Rhythm.”
In keeping with the Rollin’ & Tumblin’ theme, all
the songs groove well and make for great party music.
stretches out vocally throughout the CD - at times growling and
dirty but at other times, he is sensitive and passionate. The end
result is a song like track 4, “The Cost of Goin’ Broke”,
which, at 2 min and 45 secs is radio ready. It’s a great song,
combining lyrics like, “if things don’t get better soon,
it’ll mean my sanity”, and a great groove topped off
by Guldin’s convincing vocal delivery. The charming guitar
licks and punchy horns on the southern gospel influenced, “Goin
Back to Memphis” lay a solid foundation for a what proves
to be a song with a catchy chorus you can almost immediately sing
along with. Likewise, the title track, “RoadHouse Rhythm”
is pure Rollin & Tumblin’ doing what it does best. Again,
Guldin provides a good chorus line that begs repeating and the band
keeps the rhythm strong all the way through. Ending the CD is “Southern
Woman and a Nawthern Man”; a nice acoustic piece featuring
Guldin and EG Kight. The Philly boy pays tribute to his southern
roots and rounds out a well considered CD. “RoadHouse Rhythm”
is exactly that - great rhythms presented in classic Rollin’
& Tumblin’ fashion.
guest appearances by current stars of the blues scene make this
CD particularly desirable, but make no mistake about it, Mike Guldin
and Rollin’ & Tumblin’ are ‘nawthern’
boys who know how to play the blues!
Hawg Wild Productions/Hot Mustard Music
PETER “BLEWZZMAN” LAURO, © JANUARY, 2005
This is my very first review of the new year and from the looks
of the way the CD’s are piling up, these chubby little fingers
of mine are going to be getting a lot of exercise in 2005. I just
hope that the rest of the material I receive is as good as “ROADHOUSE
RHYTHM” by MIKE GULDIN & ROLLIN’ AND TUMBLIN’.
That would make this a real nice blues year.
The ‘Tumblers’ as the band members are referred to consist
of: MIKE GULDIN on lead vocals, acoustic, lead and rhythm guitars;
C J CLARK on bass; TIM HOOPER on piano; ALAN HOWE on lead guitar;
KARL FRICK on Hammond B-3; and BILLY WEAR on drums. This particular
project also included
a slew of special guests: TERRY TOWSON, trumpet; DON WISE, tenor
sax; JAMES PENNEBAKER, tremolo and slide guitars; RON BURNS, lead
guitar; SHAWN APPLEBY, Dobro Resonator Guitar; DENISE NEJAMME, background
vocals; TOMMY CASTRO, lead guitar; and my very dear friend, the
lovely Miss E G KIGHT on lead vocal. On “ROADHOUSE RHYTHM”,
about fifty percent of the thirteen tracks are MIKE GULDIN originals,
however one hundred percent of the tracks are very well done, good
ole Memphis, New Orleans and
Delta blues. “MEMPHIS WOMEN AND CHICKEN” is a hot and
funky Delta blues number. MIKE, with his tailor made blues voice,
kind of a mix of Leon Russell and Dr. John, is really sharp. The
horns are hot, thepiano is perfect and the guitar work is excellent.
DENISE’S background vocals add a nice touch tothis one. As
Mike describes starting from the bottom with the legs, then the
thighs and saving the plumpest part for last you have to wonder
is he talking about the chicken or the women?
COST OF GOIN’ BROKE”, one of MIKE’S originals,
has some very humorous lyrics. On this one MIKE sings of losing
all his possessions, unscrupulous lawyers and the women his wife
now calls honey. Definite topics for a blues song, I’d say.
TERRY’S trumpet work gives this one a nice taste of
Dixie. “I WANNA LOVE YOU”, is one of several tracks
that feature C J on lead vocals. This one is a very nice slow, soulful
mix of soft jazz and light blues. If slow, sexy, swaying and squeezing
dancing is yourstyle, this is the song you’d want to do it
to. The title track “ROADHOUSE RHYTHM” describes the
song perfectly. This is an ideal blend of several
styles of blues. On this one everyone’s on the mark. DENISE
sharing the vocals made this one quite enjoyable. “SOUTHERN
WOMAN AND A NAWTHERN MAN” is an acoustic duet written and
performed by MIKE and E G KIGHT and featuring SHAWN on Dobro. This
is acoustic, country blues at it’s best. The contrasting vocal
styles seem to blend very nicely on this one. My only problem with
this track was it’s short length. It only lasted less than
four minutes and I could have easily listened to at least ten more.
Hopefully these two wonderful vocal talents will collaborate more
some time soon and hopefully I’ll get to write about it.
Although here at www.mary4music.com, we have yet to pick the winner
of the 2004 BLEWZZY award, and the 2005 winner is still 13 months
away from being decided, come this time next year “ROADHOUSE
RHYTHM” will be on my mind.
two-time finalist at the Blues Foundation’s International
Blues Challenge, Mike Guldin & Rollin’ & Tumblin’
hail from nearby Pennsylvania. This new CD release illustrates the
range of his style, which is a mix of modern urban blues with Delbert
McClinton-tinged roadhouse rock. Guldin himself wrote a good portion
of this including the amusing "Snuggle Man" and The Cost
of Goin’ Broke and shares the credits with guest EG Kight
on the closing "Southern Woman and a Northern Man." He
also has an ear for good songs including the rowdy "Memphis
Women and Chicken," the Motown classic "25 Miles,"
Delbert McClinton’s "I Wanna Love You," and the
deep soul classic "You Left the Water Running." Rollin’
& Tumblin’ is a tight backing group with Alan Howe taking
a fair amount of the guitar solos, Karl Frick laying down the B-3,
Tim Hooper pounding on the 88s and CJ Clark laying the bottom down
on bass. Clark also takes the strong vocals on "25 Miles"
and "I Wanna Love You."
raspy vocals have a certain appeal, especially on the humorous "The
Cost of Goin’ Broke," where he talks about it killing
him with a nice jazzy backing and a tasteful trumpet solo from Terry
Towson. Guldin and band are perhaps too restrained on Little Richard’s
Lucille, although the track features a guest solo from Tommy Castro.
Don’t take it wrong, as this is a very enjoyable, if not great,
recording. I can see that this band can really rock a club or festival
live with its funky, bluesy and brassy sound.
can order this from www.cdbaby.com or contact the label at www.burnsaudio.com.
Hopefully Mike and Rollin’ & Tumblin’ will gig a
bit around Baltimore and Washington where their roadhouse roots
music would be well received. - Ron Weinstock
Guldin & Rollin’ & Tumblin’—”Roadhouse
There’s no false advertising in the title of this release. The
songs on this CD would make for an exceptional roadhouse show. And
in the majority of songs there is a heavy reliance on amplification
of the rhythmic aspects in these R&B and blues songs. Just as
in a real show, these studio recordings are choreographed and paced
to traipse the listener through numerous ups and downs and back and
forth from one blues genre to the next. Clocking in at over an hour,
“Roadhouse Rhythm” features 13 songs - roughly half going
for over five minutes - that could easily constitute one extended
live set. Seven of the tunes are covers and five are Mike Guldin originals.
The final song, a Guldin collaboration / performance with sultry,
Handy Award nominee EG Kight, “Southern Woman and a Nawthern
Man”, is a buttery hot blues ball with Kight out-dripping anything
Bonnie Raitt might do. Special guitar guest (there are eight special
guests on this CD) Shawn Appleby oils this tune with sufficient slippery
warm dobro resonator work that it will make you feel like you need
a cold shower after a listen. This is a truly sumptuous finale for
No short review is going to comprehensively express the range of blues
on “Roadhouse Rhythm”. From the early blues-rock of Little
Richard’s “Lucille” to the lurid blues on the cover
of Delbert McClinton’s “I Wanna Love You” to Guldin’s
own songs (the Delta inspired “Roadhouse Rhythm” or the
sarcastic David Bromberg-ish “The Cost of Goin’ Broke”)
this CD is tap dancing in far too many bluessounds and emotions to
be pigeon-holed. What solidly holds it together is the superior musicianship
of the five-member Rollin’ & Tumblin’ band (god-awful
tight) and the versatile and natural blues vocals of Mike Guldin.
“Roadhouse Rhythm” is a nice addition for anyone who is
either a complete blues addict, needs a quality introduction to a
range of blues, or is road-tripping and wants a studio-polished version
of an authentic roadhouse experience to while away the drive time.
For folks with a narrow or specialized taste in the blues there are
going to be a couple songs here that will hit home hard but be prepared
to hear a number of other songs that aren’t necessarily right
up your alley.
Guldin and Rollin' & Tumblin' were the winners of the 2002 Billtown
Blues Challenge and placed in the top eight finalists at the International
Blues Challenge in Memphis [2001 and 2003]. The band are primo representitives
of the Lehigh Valley and Philly blues scenes. This CD can only add
to their burgeoning local popularity. As John Lee Hooker would say,
"It's a good 'un."
Guldin is a seasoned vocalist, lead and rhythm guitarist. The band
has a secret weapon in bassist CJ Clark who occasionally takes a
lead vocal. Check out his work on Edwin Starr's "25 Miles."
Guldin himself has a gruff baritone that has a certain smoothness.
Guest stars abound. Tommy Castro is featured on Little Richard's
"Lucille." The album closes with a great duet on "Southern
Woman and a Nawthern Man" featuring another favorite, EG Kight.
Guldin'd own compositions are strong. Some stellar background vocals
are offered by Denise NeJame.
This is a satisfying CD of funky blues and is self described by
Guldin as "Butt Shakin' " music; well worth seeking out.
-Smokin' Joe Miklos
and the Tumblers have been a mainstay in the local blues scene ever
since they formed as the house band at the Harleysville Hotel. Their
take on the blues, Good Ole Butt Shakin' Music" as they call
it, is old school Texas roadhouse rhythm & blues with a bit
of Memphis Soul and a touch of Chicago shuffle. Hence the title
of their latest release, Roadhouse Rhythm.
As anyone who has seen them live will testify, this is one tight
band and it shows on this CD. The rhythm section is definitely in
the pocket here.
Guldin also enlists the help of some of the band's friends that
they have worked with over the years such as James Pennebaker, Terry
Townson, Don Wise from the Delbert McClinton band, as well as EG
Kight and Tommy Castro.
This release is evenly split between originals and covers of old
favorites. The originals are well crafted tunes and start with the
opening shuffle Snuggle Man which shows their roadhouse
roots. The swampy feel of Goin' Back to Memphis is like
sitting on a porch with a mint julep while Mike tells the story.
There is also the humor of The Cost of Goin' Broke, a tale of divorce,
and the last tune on the CD, Southern Woman and a Nawthern Man.
The latter is an acoustic duet with EG Kight. Bass player CJ Clark
shines on the cover tunes, adding a haunting, soulful vocal rendition
of I Want to Love You, and breathes new life into the old
classic 25 Miles.
This CD shows why Mike Guldin and Rollin' & Tumblin' have been
finalists at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, not once
but twice. This is American roots music that brings to mind summer
nights at the local roadhouse with a hot band, some cold beer, barbeque,
and dancin' till ya drop!
-John White, LVBN
forget about the fact that Mike Guldin looks like an insurance salesman
or a guy who should be teaching a self-improvement seminar...the
fact is, this guy rocks! Mike and his band, Rollin' & Tumblin',
jam and swing and play like they really enjoy it. Guldin's voice
digs deep into the soul of all that is blues and belts out the tones
that make the blues come alive. R&T's bassist, CJ Clark, gets
into the act by adding his vocal talents to "25 Miles"
and Delbert McClinton's "I Wanna Love You." Karl Frick's
B-3 action is as smooth as gravy, as are the glowing brass chops
of Terry Townson (trumpet) and Don Wise (tenor sax) on nearly every
cut. Tim Hooper's piano adds a nice touch to songs like 'Memphis
Women and Chicken' and 'Lucille', a perennial favorite originally
written by Albert Collins and Richard Penniman and made famous by
Penniman (aka 'Little Richard'). Guldin wrote a handful of the songs
including the lead off "Snuggle Man", "The Cost of
Goin' Broke," and the title cut. This one is worth listening