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On 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!

-Tom Hyslop for Blues Revue's "Blues Bites"


Blues 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 point.

This 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.


Formed 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 be disappointed.

Featuring 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.

Guldin 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.

Yes, 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!

Reviews
Hawg Wild Productions/Hot Mustard Music
215-453-2189 stratbrt@verizon.net
www.rollinandtumblin.com
www.mikeguldin.com


BY 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?

“THE 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.


A 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."

Guldin’s 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.

You 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


Mike Guldin & Rollin’ & Tumblin’—”Roadhouse Rhythm”

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 this CD.

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.

www.rollinandtumblin.com

Mike 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

Mike 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


Okay, 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 to...
-Bob Lauro