Mark May and the Agitators
Telephone Road Houston, TX
Icehouse - 1997
Review Published June 1, 1998
Visit Mark May & the Agitators Official Website
AMG Artist Bio/Discography/CD Reviews
Sound Clips, Discography
1 Mercury Blues
2 Don't Give Up
3 Sweet Spot
4 Lights Are On But
6 Telephone Road
7 Icehouse Special
8 Back in the Joint
9 Took Me By Surprise
10 She's a Stranger
11 I'll Be Around
12 Helena Hangover
EB Rating - 4.5
10 of the 12 songs on
Telephone Road were written or co-written by guitarist and band leader,
Mark May. Mark's vocals are smooth and true, his guitar work solid.
At times his guitar playing reminds me of
Albert Collins, other times there's no comparison at all.
Many of the CD's songs have distinctive phrasing or unique feel to them, including the first cut,
Mercury Blues. This tune has been covered by many artists, but this version
presents a fresh slant. The most interesting song on the CD is the title cut, Telephone Road.
It starts out south of the border, then moves into central texas for the vocal chorus. It continues to skip back and
forth across the border for the duration of the song.
Another song with an unusual twist is Sweet Spot. For this one Mark makes
use of a talk box, a device that had some popularity in mid seventies Rock.The CD also includes one standard blues
number, a nicely done cover of
Albert Collins' The Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home.
Sprinkled throughout the CD are contributions of three guest guitarists,
Billy Wells, Alan Haynes, and
Larry McCray. All these
guys blend well with the music. It didn't become appearent to me there was more than one guitarist at work
until the 3rd or 4th listening.
There is one R&B/soul ballad, but the majority of songs on
are upbeat, funky, Texas shuffles that make you feel like tapping your feet. There's generous amounts of blues guitar,
but not to the point of being overbearing. This CD should appeal to a wide range of blues lovers.