CD Review: Big Bill’s Band: Handful of Gimme

Excerpt From:
New England Blues Spectrum
The Official Publication of the New England Blues Society
Volume 1 / Issue 1
Fall 1998

CD Review
Big Bill’s Band: Handful of Gimme
By Peter Cahill

Big Bill Rauworth has really outdone himself on “Handful of Gimme”, he has gathered a grammy award winning rhythm section, Kenny Krumbholz and Leroy Pina, the raw guitar of Silvertone Steve, and the incredible harp and piano of Tom Jesser, to round out his guitar and vocals.

Together they are Big Bill’s Band, no ego’s here just a funky blues groove to get your feet tapping and hips swaying.

This debut by the band is a great CD from beginning to end, with just the right selection of covers by some of Bill’s favorite artists and a couple of originals that blend just perfectly.  Bill has a monotone voice, sort of half-talking his way through, and his clean guitar playing is complimented by the raw and wild guitar playing by Silverton Steve.  Tom’s piano and harp playing is remarkable, and the rhythm section just kicks throughout.

There are ten selections on the disc, two of which are originals and a couple of reworked standards.  “I Am the Blues” is a tip of the hat to the death of Willie Dixon, and the influence on Bill’s Blues.

“Handful of Gimme” is an honest look at the ups and downs an artist must face when playing the blues for a living, from the opening line “You come in smiling / say you gonna make me a star” to the chorus “I know what you’re selling.... Handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged.”

The finale song on the disc “Oreo Cookie Blues” is a howl and sung with such conviction, it makes you want to run to the store and pick up a bar or two.

This CD should be a must for anyone looking for a great party record, it’s not going to make Billboard top 11, but it can’t find its way out of my CD player....