Billy Martin & Wil Blades ‘Shimmy’


Song Of The Day by Eric Berman- “Toe Thumb” by Billy Martin and Wil Blades

Another dynamic duo! He’s the Martin who pounds the skins for the Jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, and has recorded with the likes of John Scofield, John Lurie and the Lounge Lizards, Chris Whitley and Iggy Pop. Blades is a Hammond B-3 extraordinaire from Chicago, whose made a name for himself in the San Francisco Jazz scene and has lent his skills to the works of John Lee Hooker and fellow organist Dr. Lonnie Smith.

The two joined forces for a one-off late night summit at the New Orleans Jazz Festival last year, and from that one gig, they knew they would have to do it again. And together they’ve made one of the funkiest records to come down the pike in many years, the aptly titled Shimmy, released last year on the Royal Potato Family/Amulet Record label.

I’m talking about some serious groove up for grabs here. With a sound that harks back to the kind of Hammond B3 records that the Legendary Jimmy Smith, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Brother Jack McDuff and Larry Young used to make. But these two also get deep in the pocket together as they grab a heaping helping of inspiration from the JBs, who expertly backed James Brown on some of his most serious jams. At the same time, the record is also reminiscent of the work of another duo, The Black Keys, who tread similar territory with guitar and drums.

The tune stack says it all, with titles like “Deep In A Fried Pickle,” “Mean Greens,” “Les And Eddie” (after Les McCann and Eddie Harris), “Pick Pocket,” and today’s Song Of The Day, “Toe Thumb,” you can expect to shake, and yes shimmy to this stuff. So is it jazz? Is it funk? Is it jam band rock? The answer is undoubtedly YES!

Eric Berman


Track Listing

  1.  Brother Bru
  2.  Mean Greens
  3. Deep in a Fried Pickle
  4. Les and Eddie
  5. Pick Pocket
  6. Down By the Riverside
  7. Toe Thumb
  8. Little Shimmy
  9. Give
  10. Dehna Hunu


  • Will Blades – Clavinet, Organ
  • Billy Martin – Drums
Here is Eric Berman’s Song of the Day 

Check out this six camera shot!

Here’s some additional live fun

Posted by Larry Carta

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