How ironic that after years fronting the hugely influential but desperately overlooked Hüsker Dü, Bob Mould's first project with new band Sugar, 1992's Copper Blue, would become the most commercially successful project of his career. Of course, it was released just as the seeds sown by his former band were bearing bountiful fruits in the post-Nirvana alternative nation, which provided ample explanation for its phenomenal success.
Hugh Laurie makes a musical pilgrimage across America to delve into the story of the country's blues music. When he was a boy, Hugh heard a recording of a concert featuring blues legend Professor Longhair playing on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.
Sugar's Beaster is actually outtakes from their previous dynamite album, Copper Blue. It comes off as some kind of deranged, ugly sister of that sparking album, a yin to Copper's yang, a violent, angry, and seething wall of aggression with (this time) little concession to Bob Mould's pop prowess.
Mose Allison's career in his golden and quite fruitful years has yielded many surprises and challenges, not the least of which is this delightful offering. He continues to write attractive, bouncy, and fun tunes carried by his signature roiling piano style and sly lyrics. For this effort, producer and Allison disciple Ben Sidran hooked him up with musicians from the modern New Orleans jazz scene, including Astral Project members – the extraordinary drummer John Vidacovich, tenor saxophonist Tony Dagradi, and guitarist Steve Masakowski.