Dmitri Resnik: It Ain't Rocket Science
January 2, 2008
Fans of New Orleans-style swing could do a lot worse than to pick up Dmitri Resnik's debut, It Ain't Rocket Science (Rusty Nail). Resnik is a New Orleans blues guitarist whose taut, succinct playing owes as much to Texas gunslingers like Jimmie Vaugh as it does to CrescentCity legends Snooks Eaglin or Guitar Slim.
On this mostly instrumental collection, Resnik is backed by a group of local players, featuring a tight rhythm section and excellent horn section. Ex-Rumour keyboardist Bob Andrews is also along for the ride, and he sounds as if he's been listening to a lot of Jimmy Smith down on the Bayou. Resnik and company shine on the Louis Jordan-style jump blues of "Clementine's Tempo" and "Fast Track," and the percolating "Duffossast St. Theme," featuring an almost-but-not-quite second-line rhythm. Though the band displays a refreshingly light touch throughout the proceedings, "Answering Machine Shuffle" proves they're not afraid to get their hands dirty with some gutbucket New Orleans slop. Resnik's not a strong vocalist, which is evident on the rare occasions (like the Fabulous Thunderbirds-style rocker "Runnin' Hot" or "Livin' on $45 a Week') where he steps up to the mike. But vocals aren't really the point to this music, and Resnik's guitar playing and sheer enthusiasm more than makes up for any vocal limitations. This is a party-groove record, and on that count these guys deliver the goods.