This week the Vinyl Vault goes to the Blues/R&B side with a rockin’ Chicago band, Big Twist and Mellow Fellows and their 1983 Alligator album “Playing for Keeps.”

Big Twist, a/k/a Larry Nolan, fronted this energetic horn-driven band. The lead-off track, Willie Dixon’s “300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy” set the stage for this album of party favorites. Other highlights on the album include Tony Joe White’s “Polk Salad Annie” and “I Got a Problem,” a song Buddy Guy likes to play. It’s a studio album, but it’s easy to hear the energy and good-times vibe this band laid down in concert.

Only seven years after “Playing for Keeps” was released, Nolan passed away after suffering a heart attack at age 53. But his music lives on with albums like this one.

Tune into the Vinyl Vault with Geoff Anderson on Tuesday, September 26 at 8:30 pm on KUVO JAZZ.

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