Chris Ruest | Too Many Problems

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Blues: Texas Style Jazz: Retro Swing Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Too Many Problems

by Chris Ruest

traditional blues rock and roll
Genre: Blues: Texas Style
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Geronimo Rock
2:35 $0.99
2. Some Other Guy
2:39 $0.99
3. Ice Queen
3:50 $0.99
4. Thinkin and Drinkin
2:34 $0.99
5. Pleadin' With My Baby
4:42 $0.99
6. Baby Ill Be Your Dog
2:36 $0.99
7. Sugar Mama
4:36 $0.99
8. Tell Me How You Like It
3:49 $0.99
9. Just Like a Puppet
5:49 $0.99
10. My Baby Loves Me
3:29 $0.99
11. Too Many Problems
2:59 $0.99
12. The Shark
2:35 $0.99
13. King Bee
4:46 $0.99
14. All Your Love
5:05 $0.99
15. If I Did You Like You Done Me
4:16 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Young blues musician Chris Ruest was born in 1975
and raised in Bristol
Connecticut. He became zealous about music at a very
early age and began taking
guitar lessons by the age of fifteen. With his
father, Louis Ruest, as an
influence and his uncle, Louis Mastrobattisto, as a
mentor, Chris began playing
local clubs. As Chris studied and played the music
he loved he realized that his
favorite music was seeded by the blues and decided
that the blues is the life
for him.

The Blues scene in Connecticut didn't really have
the sound he was looking for,
so he set off to live where it felt right. In 1999
Chris moved to Texas where he
found the sound he was looking for. In Texas Chris
learned from and became
acquainted with many of the local talents and
legends such as Anson Funderburgh,
Hash Brown, Ray Sharpe and Sam Myers. He has also
had the privilege of working
with Ft. Worth star Ray Sharpe (who wrote Linda
Lou), Lee McBee, Johnny Moeller, Cheryl Arena, Nick Curran, Mike Morgan,
Hash Brown, Preston Hubbard, Sam Myers, Joe Jonus, Wanda King,
Bill Johnston, Jon Griffin and Robin Banks, just to name a few.
Chris has also appeared in opening acts for Edgar
Winter, Johnny Winter, Little Charlie and The NIght Cats , The Browntones,
and Smokin Joe Kubec.

A Connecticut native now based in Dallas, singer and guitarist Chris Ruest shows a flair for inhabiting the blues and roots music styles of yesterday that recalls fellow transplant Brian Calway (Hash Brown), Ruest’s mentor and the album’s producer. Like another New England musician, Duke Robillard, Ruest plays a few choice covers in homage to his inspirations, and pens original songs that fit precisely in established genres. 

Too Many Problems keeps alive the legacies of Chicago legends like Elmore James, whose slide guitar and rocking combo inform Ruest’s “My Baby Loves Me”; Magic Sam, whose “All Your Love” gets a strong reading; and Howlin’ Wolf, in a revival of “Sugar Mama.” On the lazy shuffle “Pleadin’ With My Baby,” Ruest and Brown channel the most influential guitar duo in the blues, Jimmy Reed and Eddie Taylor. Swamp blues get their due in “King Bee,” and the sounds of Texas and the West Coast ring through “The Shark,” a powerful, jazzy instrumental showcase for Ruest and harmonica player Bill Johnston; the elegant, T-Bone Walker-style slow blues “Just Like A Puppet”; and the snappy Albert Collins lines that drive the greasy Texas funk of “Ice Queen.”

Ruest expresses his affinity for roots rock in the Chuck Berry-ish bounce of “Baby I’ll Be Your Dog” and “If I Did You Like You Done Me,” which sounds like a lost Junior Wells-Earl Hooker collaboration, but the dominant sounds on Too Many Problems come out of the classic jump blues and R&B tradition. The swinging “Thinkin’ And Drinkin’” and “Some Other Guy” recall the honeydripping sounds of Jimmy Liggins and Roy Milton and make excellent use of Kaz Kazanoff’s Texas Horns. “Tell Me How You Like It,” another hard-edged Ruest original, is an ideal platform for leather-lunged guest vocalist Nick Curran. The hip, humorous “Too Many Problems,” a stop-time number straight out of the early Ray Charles bag, lets keyboard ace Matt Farrell shine.

The band lays down perfect arrangements for each song, and Billy Horton’s engineering conjures the magic vintage sound that his Ft. Horton Studio so reliably evokes. Despite the presence of guest musicians like Hash Brown, bassist Preston Hubbard, and Curran, the spotlight belongs to Ruest. An accomplished guitarist, he employs a refreshing variety of tones – bright and reverb-drenched on “All Your Love,” tending toward a darker sound elsewhere – and favors a less-is-more style that is clearly a matter of taste, not talent. Ruest is an appealing singer. No wild extrovert à la Curran, he breaks out a credible rockabilly yelp on his cover of Jerry McCain’s primal “Geronimo Rock.” His primary mode is more plainspoken, an understated approach that proves effective and likable on both the jumping songs and the deeper blues. Too Many Problems is an impressive debut.

Chris released his first compact disc, Too Many Problems, showcasing 11
original songs and 4 takes on his old blues favorites. This CD proudly
features Preston Hubbard, Nick Curran, Eric Mathews, Hash Brown,
Matt Farell, Bill Johnston, Kevin Schermerhorn,
Kaz Kazonoff and The Texas Horns!
Some of Chriss influences include; Albert Collins, Gatemouth Brown,
Johnny Watson, Lowell Fullson, Guitar Jr., Jimmie Vaughan,
Lightnin Hopkins, Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, Elmore James
and many, many others.



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