Blues & Rhythm Magazine
11-tracker from Glasgow-based sax maestro McGee, who has been a leading light on the scene there for over thirty years as well as touring all over the place backing up numerous blues and jazz artists. This album – 10 years in the making – consists of Deke’s own compositions, written in the spirit of classic r&b of the late 1940s, plus a couple of jazz-based instrumentals and slow blues. Deke’s tough blowing and pleasing vocals is accompanied by a fine little combo of guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. All fellow Glaswegians I presume. ‘Mr Cornbread’ is a fine tribute to the honking of Hal Singer, utilising the basic tenor riff before the band jumps in with a rollicking and infectious beat. ‘Blowout’ is another honking instrumental reminiscent of Big Jay at his best whilst ‘Jumpin’ Jesus Holy Cow’, ‘Jumpin’ Out The Window’ and ‘Shut Your Mouth’ are further examples of classic r&b/ jump blues. The best track for me is ‘The Sweetheart Blues’, a great New Orleans-flavoured number, which would have served Fats Domino proud. If you’re a fan of classic r&b as put out by the likes of Louis Jordan, Roy Milton and Joe Liggins etc, then Deke’s your man.
JOHN FORDHAM...’THE JIVE ACES’ SAXOPHONIST
Before I tell you about this album let me start by saying that the band I play in, the Jive Aces get sent many CD's in the post of mostly up and coming bands looking for a support gig or maybe some advice. We usually listen to them in the van while on the road during long journeys. I confess that they don't all make it to the end of the CD! In Deke Mcgee's case we played the whole album, and more than once! I have since had the pleasure of meeting and playing with Deke and can tell you that as well as being a wonderful player he's a real gent amongst hornblowers!
Onto the album: Things kick off with a self penned Jumping tune, " Jumpin' Jesus Holy Cow" Great dance rhythm and nice rolling piano licks from Daniel Meade followed by guitar picking by Alan Brown. Deke takes it home with a Baritone solo. Deke's blowing all the Sax on this album by the way. Next up is " Mr Cornbread" , a nod to the likes of the wonderful Hal Singer who I once had the pleasure of meeting and playing with. He would certainly be tapping his foot to this one Then things slow down for a real bluesy ballad which Ray Charles might do" That's Love" At this stage I'd like to let you know that not content with just blowing Sax,Deke is singing all the songs! And what a great job he does of it too. Nice low down bluesy guitar work from Alan Brown here. Things move up just notch now to a romping tune " All Night Long" . It brings to mind the likes of the great Amos Milburn and I think Mike Sanchez would give this one a good play. Deke's voice on this also reminds me of Johnny Boyd and Indigo Swing whose tunes still get a lot of play on the Swing scene around the world. Nice raunchy blues playing from Deke. " Spooks Breakfast" is a minor blues which reminds me a little of " Why don't you do right" Here Deke blows a real mellow solo followed by some great guitar. All the way through this album the rhythm section do a great job of keeping the tunes rolling along and with energy! Now it's back to a jumping tune that will fill the dance floor in 10 seconds ! "Jumping out the window" had my head nodding good and proper. " I'm leaving town" is a romper, slightly up tempo from " All Night Long" Nice Baritone entrance into a lovely bit of tenor which reminds me of the great Maxwell Davis, who is a fave of Deke's. "Blowout" is a real belter and Deke gets a chance to stretch out on this one, with the rhythm section not letting up for a second. " The Sweetheart Blues" is a real nice New Orleans style melody which would suit the likes of Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis or even early James Brown. " Shut Your Mouth" rolls along with classic rhythm and blues feel that will once again fill the dance floor. The album ends with a nice Rhumba feel on " Monkeybird", an instrumental that the great Jack Mcvea might open or close a show with. Wow!! I'm invigorated after listening to this album!! Not only is Deke's playing superlative, but the band swing like the clappers without sparing the horses and Deke Mcgee sings and swings up a storm. Oh and by the way..He wrote ALL the songs!! Say no more!!
“.. this is one that will stay on the CD player for a while”
CD Review - Blues Matters Magazine
"....swings like the clappers. The songs are great! We've been playing your CD in the van on our way to gigs"
The Jive Aces
"....the Guy is excellent. Often reminds me of Lee Allen. He has done his homework. I will continue to check him out"
John Firmin, The Johnny Nocturne Band
"I love it!! You get the exact sound that I wanted for that Mouthpiece ...Killer Killer Sound!!"
Mark Sepinuck, 10mfan Mouthpieces
Then we get a sideways step from folk blues to post-war jump blues’n’jive in the hands of the Deke McGee Band, led by the sharp-suited cool dude Mr McGee on sax and vocals. Right from the off, with the honking ‘Gravy Train’, it’s toe-tapping, hand-jiving stuff. It’s all a bit incongruous at half one in the afternoon, but with McGee’s sax playing at its core it’s a quality display of what “small big band” vintage R’n’B is all about.
Carlisle Blues Rock Festival, Blues Enthused Review