Reviews

“Sly Fox and The Hustlers warmed up the receptive crowd before Kenny arrived. They are local to Albany and have their own album out. We heard some originals and they also did some covers, like most blues bands. I thought they were exceptional. The crowd did as well and gave them a good send off before the lights came back on for a short break.”
~Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

“Sly Fox and the Hustlers are easily one of the best bands I’ve seen in a long time!”
~ John Popper of Blues Traveler

“Collectively they’re a three-piece blues-rock outfit, individually, they’re highly accomplished at their craft, sharing a passion for live performance. This is the domain of blues-rock, its strength lies in presence along with the music, the more difficult part is translating that to recording.”
~Greg Jackson On Jan 21, 2016

“Like with B.B. King, you can hear three notes and know who it is. It’s the same with Robin Trower! Nobody else sounds like him. He’s a living legend!” and “I could have scoured the earth and I never would have found a better band to open this show than Sly Fox and the Hustlers.”
~Ted Etoll of Step Up

“One of the best high-energy bands in the area run by a guy who studies the blues masters, Sly Fox and the Hustlers are one of the area’s favorite live acts.”
 ~Don Wilcock – The Record

Uncle Sam Jam a Musical Family Reunion

“These local favorites feature some of the areas best players. Funky, blues soaked and powerful, this outfit is sure to get the party rockin. A throwback to another era, the Capital Region is blessed to have such great talent.”

Best Blues – Rock Band – Sly Fox and the Hustlers
~Metroland

Masters of The Telecaster Live Up to Their NameConcert Review: Masters of The Telecaster, Cohoes Music Hall
September 21, 2019
By Don Wilcock

“These guys are as comfortable together as fleece on flannel. The Band’s Jim Weider, former SNL band leader G.E. Smith, and Boston blues Brahman Duke Levine presented a most effective argument for the Telecaster beating out the Strat as the baddest rock guitar in the land.From The Stones’ “Last Time” to Bo Diddley’s “Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover,” from Quincy Jones’ “Love and Peace” to an encore of Roy Buchanan’s “The Messiah Will Come Again,” these guys lived up to their masters moniker and then some with a 13-song, hour-and-a-half set that made time stand still.They stood in a line, each playing 1953 model Telecaster guitars. Weider bought his in 1970 after seeing Roy Buchanan. G.E. Smith’s mom bought her son one from Jim Messina in 1963 for $700 and paid it off with $15 monthly installments. Duke Levine bought his at Lark St. Music in Albany. G. E. Smith, looking weathered with his face of chiseled granite, flashed a smile that winked a metal filling in one of his teeth. He told the story of Robert Johnson’s mentor Son House being rediscovered in Rochester in 1963 and sang “Empire State,” named after one of the trains Son rode when he worked the railroad with its line “I could tell the Empire State by the way she blows.”The entire show was a bromance born in the gutters of Memphis and the brothels of Mississippi rising in an almost constant crescendo as the trio wove its way through the American song book. They were so tight that if you closed your eyes you couldn’t tell the licks were not being performed by one “master” with six hands.Weider took the lead on Roy Buchanan’s “The Messiah Will Come Again.” The song from Roy’s first album on Polygram in 1972 is Weider’s strongest influence. Under recognized but a regular player in the New York’s Capital Region, Buchanan hanged himself in 1988. Vowing that he not be forgotten, Weider first got together with G.E. Smith on Roy’s birthday six years ago for the first Masters of the Telecaster show at The Iridium in New York City. “I wanted to celebrate,” explained Weider in a pre-concert interview. “I didn’t want him to be forgotten. So, I put a show together at the Iridium with Tom Principato and Arlen Ross. It was a total success. It was packed and I said, ‘This is a blast. Let me get a hold of G.E.’ and I started doing shows with G.E., and then him and I started just always doing these Telecaster shows and adding on a third person. We started with John Jorgenson, Johnny Hiland, Danny Kortchmar, Larry Campbell, a host of people.”Roy was this writer’s favorite guitarist, and “The Messiah Will Come Again” with its soaring and bending flight is his best song. When I had my first hip replacement, I had the nurse play it for me on earphones as I woke from the anesthesia so that I would instantly know that I was still alive.The Nate Gross Band opened with a flash and dash half hour set of heavy blues rock that lasted an eternity: too fast, too long, and too derivative. Sly Fox and The Hustlers followed with a tight set of blues rock. Stripped down to a trio, these guys are the blues answer to the Ramones. They played their signature song “SUNY Girl,” their current crowd pleaser “American Gypsy” and fleshed out their set with Chicago blues standards Howlin’ Wolf’s “Back Door Man” and Freddie King’s “Down, Down, Down,” showcasing Sly’s mastery of classic electric blues.

Don Wilcock Freelance Writer
Contributing Writer – Blues Blast
Contributing Writer – American Blues Scene  Contributing Editor – The Blues Music Magazine
Contributing Writer – Blues Matters
Contributing Writer -NYSMusic
The Blues Foundation’s Keeping The Blues Alive in Print Journalism Award
Music Journalist of the Year Nomination – 2019 NY Capital Region “Eddies”