Blues is one of those musical genres best experienced live, and the tunes of Madison's Cash Box Kings are no exception. The evidence is the group's new CD of nine live performances from the now-defunct Cuda Cafe in Deerfield. The disc showcases their talents as an ensemble and their excitement about veteran Chicago bluesman Oscar Wilson joining their ranks.
Cuttin' features a few Kings originals, plus tributes to Muddy Waters, Lou Reed and others. Wilson channels Waters' spirit in a scorching rendition of "Iodine in My Coffee," lighting the fire by asking the audience, "Y'all ever had an eeeeevil woman?" He fans the flames with rhythmic shouts as the guitar ambles along, mocking his passion with its relaxed pace. The band's not just preaching about evil ladies; it's showing you how it feels to be jerked around.
By the time "Preachin' Blues" begins, the group's libido is turned up to 11, and when Travis Koopman croons, "I believe I want to take you home," you're likely to consider, for a brief moment, a fling with the Kings.