On his first solo album Ron Cartel brings the 'Blues Boulevard Records' label, mostly original songs and an additional single studio / Live in NYC bonus tracks. Ron brings a mix of roots, soul, gospel and blues. The line-up is an exceptionally long series of twenty-two (great) musicians and no less than four different backings. The album opens with "Mojo Intro" for the actual "House Of Mojo" track, which runs from sultry slide guitar grooves. In the intro you hear some whispers (or call it what mumbling?) Cartel itself and much voodoo. Followed by Latin rhythms and percussion, complemented by piano, organ, and the grooves of the horn ... Or, if we are to use the words of Cartel:! "Welcome to the House of Mojo" "Last Two Dollars" is a quiet R & B and a very attractive number of R & B singer-songwriter George Henry Jackson. The three female backing singers, filling the charming melody here and make the song offs. Steve Tarshis, a guitarist from NY, wrote "Bluesville", a song with "blues man" Cartel, which allows the listener to hear that Ron a very talented singer. More blues we get "God Moves On The Water" , a song by Blind Willie Johnson, which shines by its simplicity and purity. "My World" is an autobiographical track with Ron's story about his world, where he wants to go and even want to fight. The arrangements are clever and especially the wah wah guitar Duncan James, who along with the blowers, introduces very handsome accents. Top track! Many tears, goose bumps and cracks in "I Heart Everybody" , with the alto sax Dave Feusi and Ken Levinsky on piano, who mourn them ... The title song "Do not Make The Monkey Drunk" is a song, which mainly is the (unique) songwriting. Cartel makes very clever comparisons and ironic jokes, but remains itself and especially very cool ... "Monkeys sitting in a Mercedes, you got the grease, so he got the lease ..." "Last Shirt" , a lively gospel with ditto clapping, the almost last regular track for the bonus tracks. "Put The Shovel In The Ground" is a studio bonus track, followed by two additional 'Live in NYC' tracks, which covers from Rufus Thomas and Muddy Waters. Album tracks: 1 "House Of Mojo Intro" - 2 "House Of Mojo" - 3 "Last Two Dollars" [George Jackson] - 4 "Bluesville" [Steve Tarshis] - 5 "God Moves On The Water" [Blind Willie Johnson ] - 6 "Chazz Is Dead" [Chuck Feravola] - 7 "My World" - 8 "I Hurt Everybody" - 9 "Sing & Shout" - 10 "Do not Make The Monkey Drunk" - 11 "All My Angels" - 12 "Last Shirt" - 13 "Outro" - Studio Bonus track: 14 "Shovel In The Ground" - Bonus tracks: Live in NYC: 15 "Walking The Dog" [Rufus Thomas] - 16 "She's Nineteen Years Old " [McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters].
Ron Cartel is a star cook. He serves us with his debut "Do not Make The Monkey Drunk" a very digestible blend of blues, with generous extras mojo roots, R & B, passion and deep dark soul. Everything tastes very intense, the occupation is taken care down to the small details and the backings are sweeter than sweets. For me, this album is definitely worth four stars! Therefore, as I do, "Get the Mojo! ..." ~ by: Eric Schuurmans