Michael Rubin is perhaps best known as a music tutor and, as the go to harmonica player who has worked with Ruthie Foster, Seth Walker, Cyrille Neville and The McMercy Family Band to name but a few. Stepping into the limelight with his debut release ‘I’ll Worry If I Wanna’ Rubin Gets to highlight his song writing skills and immense harmonica skills.
Rubin’s droll vocal delivery perfectly suits this album. His lyrics are devilishly funny and while there’s no doubt about his considerable prowess when it comes to playing the harmonica it is clear he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
With hints of the early Chicago blues scene, ‘Little Rabbit’ and ‘Go Milk Your Own Cow’ are both awash with sexual innuendo using anamorphic characters. Both songs make good use of guitarist Mike Keller’s skills and Rubin’s harmonica on ‘Go Milk Your Own Cow’ in particular is impressive. Just ask the chickens.
Switching from the blues to Americana, ‘Old Rodeo Dreams’ takes a tongue and cheek look at the protagonist’s addiction to success. Harking back to more traditional blues on ‘Chain Letter Blues’ Rubin slows things down as he spins a tale of the now defunct chain letter system that was popular late last century. Once again, the musicianship and interplay between Rubin Keller is impressive.
Rounding out the album, ‘Fourth Coast’ is a blistering instrumental that allows the full band to shine.
While the humour may not be to the taste of everyone Rubin uses it to prove that the blues needn’t always be a drag, and ‘I’ll worry if I Wanna’ showcases the fun side of the genre with mischievous humour and superb musicianship.