It’s not difficult to figure out how Chicago bluesman Nick Moss found his way to the cover of the April/May issue of Blues Revue magazine. Between the publication’s recent naming of Moss’ Play It ‘Til Tomorrow double album as one of the 25 best blues albums of the decade, the success of a series of live CDs recorded at Rhode Island’s famous Chan’s (the most recent of which – Combo Platter No. 2 – also featured fellow Chicago superstar Lurrie Bell), and his new album Privileged (Blue Bella Records, March 16), Moss has easily earned the honor.
With sounds that range from Deep Purple to Eric Gales, Privileged takes a harder-edged approach than Moss’ seven previous albums, even on more traditional blues songs such as Howlin’ Wolf’s “Louise,” Sonny Boy Williamson’s “She’s So Fine (Born Blind),” and Moss’ own “Georgia Redsnake”. In addition to monster guitar riffs on tracks like the opening “Born Leader,” “Tear ‘Em Down,” and the closing instrumental “Bolognious Funk,” the album offers covers of Cream’s “Politician” and a funked-up version of the Stephen Stills classic “For What It’s Worth” as well as other gems in “Privileged at Birth” (from which the album draws its title) and “Why Should I Care.” There’s no doubt that Moss gives listeners their money’s worth on this one: along with the new direction in music, only three of the songs on the album clock in under the four minute mark, with the others all falling between five and eight minutes in length.