Paul Barrere’s Bluesbusters “Accept No Substitutes”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#406 in the Series) is Bluesbusters, Accept No Substitute

I was really missing Little Feat in the mid-eighties when I first heard about The  Bluesbusters.  Like a good ol’ bowl of crawfish etouffee, let’s say they really hit the spot.

If you don’t know about them, let me clue y’all in.  The Bluesbusters featured five very talented musicians that made their name mostly in other acts.  Paul Barrere was of course a lead vocalist, guitarist, slide guitarist in Little Feat.  On Keyboards was the late T.Lavitz. T spent most of his time in another great band, The Dixie Dregs.  Freebo was on bass. He previously added the boogie to the woogie of Ms. Bonnie Raitt. Larry Zack was the drummer; he’d been keeping the beat for artists like Jackson Browne, David Lindley and Warren Zevon.  The other front man in the band was the great Bob “Catfish” Hodge. He’s recorded many albums with his own band.

This was the bands third and final album. It was released in 1986 and follows In Time in 1981 and even a Christmas release in 1984.

It hard to find much on line about Accept No Substitute as it’s been out of print for some time. You can however, find it on a few download sites such as our friends from

As expected, most of the tunes here are in the classic blues-rock vein that you’d figure from these gents. That’s what they play, and damn, they play it well!  I love the opening number, “If the Phone Don’t Ring.”  I have this song on the video playlist so be sure to check it out. In fact, let’s talk about the playlist. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t able to find any promo videos, but I was able to find some great live goodies.  I have about four live songs from this album plus some classic Little Feat tunes.  “Catfish” sings a few of his originals as well. They’re not of the best quality but they’re not bad at all!

What ever happened to the Bluesbusters? Well a few years later, Paul reformed Little Feat and T reformed The Dixie Dregs. That was it.

Lastly, I do have my own Bluesbusters story.  I had a chance to see them in 1987 or  88 I saw Jimmy Buffett at Poplar Creek Music Theater in northwest suburban Chicago.  At that time, Sam Clayton was part of Jimmy’s Coral Reefer Band.  The same night, The Bluesbusters were playing at FitzGerald’s Night Club in west suburban Chicago.  Not really close, but not all that far either.  FitzGerald’s was on the way home anyway.  I planned on doing both. I knew Paul would be playing until about 1 am so it was an easy call.

I happened to meet Sam backstage at the Buffet show. I spoke to him about my plans and was “thisclose” in talking him in to heading down the road and checking out the other show.  That would have been way cool.  The other thing was that that was also Paul Barrere’s birthday.  FitzGerald’s had cake and everything for him that night.  I sure heard a ton of good music that night.

— Larry Carta

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Track Listings

  1. Phone Don’t Ring 3:11
  2. Miss Clara’s Cookin’ 3:39
  3. Dixie Highway 4:03
  4. Movin’ to the Country 2:36
  5. Certain People 3:57
  6. To the Left 3:57
  7. Gone Fishin’ 4:38
  8. Stone Crazy 3:56
  9. Down on the Farm 4:49


The Bluesbusters

  • Paul Barrére Guitar, Vocals
  • Freebo  Bass, Vocals
  • Bob “Catfish” Hodge  Guitar, Vocals
  • T Lavitz  Keyboards, Saxophone
  • Larry Zack Drums, Percussion

Additional Personnel

  • Paul Butterfield Harmonica
  • Nicolette Larson Vocals
  • Bob Seger Vocals
  • David Woodford Saxophone
  • Terry Brock Vocals
  • Ricky Keller Production
  • Jimmi Mayweather Engineer


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Posted by Larry Carta

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