Most of us take for granted the features of our modern society, from air travel and telecommunications to literacy and obesity. Yet for nearly all of its six million years of existence, human society had none of these things. While the gulf that divides us from our primitive ancestors may seem unbridgeably wide, we can glimpse much of our former lifestyle in those largely traditional societies still or recently in existence. Societies like those of the New Guinea Highlanders remind us that it was only yesterday—in evolutionary time—when everything changed and that we moderns still possess bodies and social practices often better adapted to traditional than to modern conditions.
Art & Roman Griswold have dominated the Toledo, Ohio blues scene for the last ten years, after the death of their erstwhile mentor and colleague Big Jack Reynolds. While The Griswolds' style differed from Big Jack's their arrival in the Detroit/Toledo area in the 1950s brought them under his and Little Walter Mitchell's influence. Roman is the older brother, but Art has always been the leader with both his guitar histrionics and his staccato vocals. They recorded singles throughout the 1960s and 1970s on Fortune and other regional labels, but it wasn't until 1987 when the Griswolds had material released on an album, Blue Suit's initial release "Two Aces & A Jack," which they shared with Big Jack Reynolds. They remained minor figures in the regional blues world until the 1980s when their band (Art on guitar & vocals, Roman on organ and vocals, Eli "Professor Easy" Garner on tenor sax and Allen "Funky Monkey" Szombati on drums) was the hottest group in the area.