The beauty of the blues is in its “ba-bah-bah-bump my baby she left me” simplicity. The same simplicity makes the blues so easy to parody, but also makes it relatable to so many people and allows other musical styles to easily join the party, like soul, gospel and rock.
Portland’s Curtis Salgado, one of the Northwest’s best-known blues artists (he got his start here in Eugene) is no stranger to local blues enthusiasts. Salgado has built a career playing solid, dependable and competent baby-boomer blues-rock, the stuff of Viagra ads. So I threw on his latest Soul Shot on Alligator Records, expecting more of the same. And let me say, expectations are exceeded.
There’s been a blues-rock and soul revival running a few years now, with the younger crowd eating up Amy Winehouse, Black Keys, Raphael Saadiq and Mayer Hawthorne (who appears on campus the night after Salgado plays WOW Hall). Soul Shot is a high-energy collection — owing more to Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, Temptations and classic Motown than average bar-band blues music. Smooth baby-makin’ sounds meet scorching dance numbers, with Salgado adding a healthy dose of soul to his always-evident vocal chops.
So — whether you’re a veteran R&B fan in all your grey-haired glory, or a new kid getting into the neo-soul revival planning on catching Mayer Hawthorne’s set on campus — let Salgado show you how the veterans do it. Like those Viagra ads say: There’s nothing like experience.
Curtis Salgado plays 5 pm Friday, May 4, at Skip’s Records & CD World; FREE; and 8 pm Friday, May 4, at WOW Hall; $20 adv., $25 door.