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The 44s

After seven long years, The 44s returned with Twist The Knife on Rip Cat Records, an album of blues-­fired rocket fuel that pays homage to the greats while keeping a fi­rm eye ­fixed on the future. Bandleader Johnny Main spent the past few years rebuilding the 44s with an all-new lineup, and the result is the best album of the band’s long and storied career.

“This is the ­first time I’ve really been able to stretch,” says Main, whose guitar playing is the core of the 44s sound. His expert string work leads the band through a 33-minute rock and roll reclamation that spans everything from psychedelic blues-rock to vintage Michigan Avenue grooves and more. “When you get right down to it, this album is about perseverance,” he explains. “I was at a point where I had to decide whether or not to keep going, to keep this band alive. All those guys we look up to, like Muddy, Wolf, Albert Collins, Lightnin’ Hopkins… they kept going right up until they died. I want this record to serve as a tribute to them, their inspiration is why I started this band almost 20 years ago, and it’s what keeps driving us today.”

Artists here are Johnny Main on vocals and guitar, Eric Von Herzen on harmonica, Mike Hightower on bass, Gary Ferguson on drums and Junior Watson on guitar (on tracks 1, 5, 7, 8).



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