Tom Rigney

A Blue Thing

Bay Area violinist Tom Rigney, who worked with Queen Ida and the Bon Ton Zydeco band in the ’80s, then formed the Sundogs, a swamp boogie band that fired up audiences around the world during the ’90s, is now at the helm of Flambeau, the core group on this, his fifth CD for this Berkeley label. Rigney’s also invited a batch of guests to join him on the 13 tracks here—old friends like harpist Norton Buffalo and guitarists Roy Rogers and Bob Brozman. This is a mixed bag of treats that shifts fluidly from solid blues to pop to Cajun two-step to C&W. An energetic player, Rigney tips his bow in the direction of Gatemouth Brown (also a fiddler of note) on Brown’s “Gate’s on the Heat” and gets a great assist from Rogers’ slide work and the three-man horn section. The horns kick in again on a stunning “St. Louis Blues” with regular Flambeau guitarist Danny Caron on board. Guitarist Anthony Paule contributes mightily to the success of Rigney’s Latin-flavored “The Blue Hour,” while Norton’s atmospheric harmonica colors “Wayfaring Stranger.”