Once Juke Boy Bonner said: “Lay down at night you don’t know where you’re goin’ to sleep, where on earth your next meal to meet, that makes you a bluesman.” Blues is music for the soul, muddy and rich, a long and marshy road through which different artists went, always keeping an eye on the roots, such as Muddy Waters, Johnny Lee Hooker and Buddy Boy. Risen from the ashes of an Italian new-wave band, The Vindicators were one of those band that like a flash in the pan released two albums in two years (1987-1989), supported the legendary Blues Brothers on tour and in 1992 broke up after an hardcore string of live performances (almost 102).
We have to wait almost twenty years to hear from them again, coming back with the greatest hits comprehensive, including four new tracks and a live CD. This collection is a complete overview of the blues chronological history, going from some Jerry L. Lewis and Dan Sartain-like rockabilly tunes (Rock’nRecall), providing spoken vocals a là Muddy Waters (Money), or the swinging rhythm of All Around the World, in which deep vocals couple with a strong instrumental background living up to the Delta Blues. Still in the Fifties with the rock and roll a là Elvis and boogie catchy tunes (I Wonder Why, Go On, Down Down Down) and the Chicago blues of the harmonica in “Seven Cookies”, whereas we jump to the late 60s with Sly and Family Stone-esque tracks, perfect for a new Woodstock (You Fascinated Me, The Hit). The journey does not stop here though, because Vindicators detach from blues for a more surfish incursion in Better Late Than Ever and the distorted yet neurotic attitude of the 70s punk a là Clash in Go baby go! and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
I may be mean if I spoiled all the contents of this quite singular and captivating bunch of tracks, which seems to reinvent itself in different keys, though never losing the energy that only bluesmen could put into music; whether sad or happy, there’d always be energy bursting out from it. That’s what Vindicators were, as YouTube videos can effectively prove. Such a shame it’s too late to see them tapping on a stage, but luckily enough to enjoy this collection.