James Armstrong – Guitar Angels (2014)
One of the most time-honored blues legends is that of how Robert Johnson gained his mastery of the guitar: he sold his soul to the Devil for it. Los Angeles native and now Springfield IL resident, James Armstrong, however, communes with a different source for musical inspiration – four “Guitar Angels,” namely his father James Armstrong, Sr., Coco Montoya, Joe Louis Walker, and Mike Ross. On this second release through Catfood Records (his fifth CD overall), the incredible Armstrong pulls out all the stops when it comes to contemporary electric and soul-influenced blues. Armstrong’s veteran guitar work is consistently lively, creative, and interesting. He has crafted along with his fellow artists ten stellar original songs and two covers (The Eagles’ “Take It to the Limit” and a stellar and Soulful take on Johnny Copeland’s “Blues Ain’t Nothin’”), their upbeat and crowd-pleasing energy never fails to uplift listeners. At Armstrong’s side are seventeen remarkable musicians, including producer Michael Ross on guitar and percussion, Dan Ferguson on keyboards, and drummers Richy Puga, Rick King, and Warren Grant.