The Hitman Blues Band – Not My Circus
Release date: March 15, 2021
‘Not My Circus, Not My Monkey’ is the new release from the NY based Modern/Alt Blues group, The Hitman Blues Band.
Featuring captivating vocals, blistering solos, and a rhythm section pushing a consistently intense groove, it also boasts captivating lyrics ranging from light hearted to tragic.
The recording starts off with “Not My Circus, Not My Monkey”, a line you’ll probably be using regularly from now on. This is followed by the tongue in cheek “Buy That Man A Drink”, as it’s far from an act of charity.
Then comes a complete re-working of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, including all new lyrics that stay true to the spirit of the original. Keeping with Mr. Johnson, there is “John The Revelator” performed in a unique Hitman Blues Band style – and imagining that other gods stop by and reveal their own end-of-times scenarios to John.
The heart wrenching ballad “No Place Like Home” offers somber reflection, and then comes a version of Dylan’s “Times They Are A-Changin’” llke you’ve never heard it before.
The groove infused “You Can’t Say No” is followed by the light hearted come-on of “Walk With You”, which sets up the attempt to explain overpowering love in “You Don’t Understand”.
The album takes a turn back to the late 1950’s influenced “Everybody But Me”, a comic take on hipster loneliness.
The closing tune is the anthem for every artist who pushes on no matter what, “Go Down Fighting”.
The Hitman Blues Band plays Modern/Alt Blues, which can be high energy, slow and soulful, or happy boogie. It’s blues of the 21st century.
01. Not My Circus (4:26) R. Alexander, P. Gilmore
02. Buy That Man A Drink (2:40) R. Alexander
03. Nobody’s Fault But Mine (4:48) R. Alexander, based on the traditional by Blind Willie Johnson
04. John The Revelator (5:34) R. Alexander, based on the traditional by Blind Willie Johnson
05. No Place Like Home (4:41) R. Alexander
06. The Times They Are A-Changin’ (5:37) R. Dylan
07. You Can’t Say No (5:02) R. Alexander
08. Walk With You (2:34) R. Alexander
09. You Don’t Understand (4:07) R . Alexander
10. Everybody But Me (5:43) R. Alexander
11. Go Down Fighting (3:49) R. Alexander
Russell “Hitman” Alexander – Guitars, lead & backup vocals
Kevin Bents – Keyboards
Mike Porter – Bass, Backup Vocals
Guy LaFountaine – Drums
Mikey Vitale – Alto Sax
John Kelly – Tenor Sax
Eric Altarac – Trumpet
Nick Clifford – Bari Sax
Mike Katzman – Organ solo on “John The Revelator”
Joanna Alexander, Nancy Hampton – Backup Vocals
Adam Minkoff – Organ (“No Place Like Home”)
Bob Stander – Hand Claps, Tambourine