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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tim Gartland - Million Stars - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (September 9, 2014), Million Stars, from Tim Gartland. Having more of an R&B attack on the blues, Gartland, joined by Tom West (Keys), Chris Rival (guitars), Paul Justice (bass) and Forrest Padgett (drums) present a very smooth soulful set. Opening with Let Me Keep The Dog is a well balanced track showcasing Gartland on harp and vocals, his voice being somewhat stark and interesting. Off Of My Mind is an upbeat track sounding a bit like a Billy Preston track (rhythmically). Again, Gartland has a real nice voice for the style of music and organ work by West supports the body quite well. Gartland's vocals have been compared to Jimi and on Mess Me Up, the phrasing and timbre do sound similar. A cool track with airy guitar riffs this track has a nice texture and a nice bridge featuring West and Rival on solos. When The Next Wind Blows has a funky rhythm and a cool bass line by Justice. Talking about universal appeal, this would be the track. Gartland lays down a nice harp solo and West plays a nice piano sounding quite like Randall Bramblett in style. I Should Have Cared Less is one of my favorites tracks on the release with a rich spiritual feel. Accentuated by nice organ and piano work from West, this track just has that something special. Two Rights Make A Wrong is built along the lines of a Curtis Mayfield composition with strong but neutral organ work. Rival plays some very clean jazzy style guitar riffs making this track stand out even more. Better The Foot Slip has a bit of modern southern funk rock. Again, vocal phrasing makes you think briefly of Jimi but the warmth of the organ keeps you in line. Another of my favorites, this track gets a really nice groove. Gartland plays some Johnathan Edwards like harp work, keeping it easy but cool. Title track, Million Stars, resembles Let It Bleed and how could that be bad. With a taste of New Orleans and a taste of country another fun track. Tippin' Time is built around a really nice bass riff by Justice but with nice lead harp work from Gartland. Again Rival steps up with clean guitar riffs and Padgett holds it tight as West pushes you back with powerful organ work. Nice instrumental. Shine Your Loving Light is a solid ballad with clean accompaniment by West on keys. Simple harp riffs and driving clean bass runs add to this simple radio style track. I Can Add had a distinctive Willie Dixon feel and of course solid bass work. The bluesiest track on the release makes way for Gartland to really dig in on the blues harp. West skillfully weaves a nice piano pattern throughout the track as well a a clean solo. Slide guitar from Rival also gives it some grit. Wrapping the release is Shake It Nina, boogie track with a healthy helping of harp and a does of organ over the driving beat of Justice and Padgett.

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Main Squeeze Records artist - Missy Andersen - In The Moment - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, In The Moment, from Missy Andersen and it scratches a lot of itches. Opening with Rent Party is a cool blues swing track with a touch of jazz. Heine Andersen lays out a nice guitar solo and Sue Palmer is tight on piano. Horn work from Robbie Smith (trumpet), Gerrard Nolan (tenor sax) and Bob Mathes (Bari sax) give it a bit of a club feel. Whole Lotta Nuthin' has a New Orleans feel with marching style drums from Marty Dodson and Ben Moore lays down some nice B3 work. Heine cooks the frets on this track with some hot jazzy riffs. On Latin styled Night Stalker Andersen again plays into a 40's - 50's sophistication. She really has a strong voice and has strong support from vocalists Sonja Mack and Karen Trapane. R&B track More Than Enough has a really strong presence and Andersen's vocals are top notch. Light instrumental accompaniment of light drums and B3 and punctuation but the horn section makes this one of my release favorites. Better Or Worse has a bit of a Chicago blues style featuring James Harman on harp and Nathan James on guitar. On No Regrets, roots in gospel can be heard cemented in Andersen's vocal styling and the warm B3 key work from Moore. Very nice! Same Things Make You Laugh Will Make You Cry is a R&B style number with great delivery from Andersen. Soild rhythm work, B3 backing and horns give this a true feeling of the age of R&B. Reach Out is an easy going blues number with a real twist of gospel. I really like Anderson's feel on this track and the backing vocals of Mack and Trapane as well as the nice walking bass line of Michael McKinnon and stirring guitar solo by Heine Andersen make this one of the most memorable tracks on the release. Ladies Shoes is a real down and dirty blues number with Andersen digging in deep. I really like the contributions of Heine Andersen on guitar on this track which are inspired. Funky rhythms on Hey Now! highlighting the percussion work of Christopher Hoffee and Moore on B3 nicely compliment Andersen's vocal work. Wrapping the track is I've Been Walkin' gets a nice "revival" feel going but with a bit of twang. Nice vocal call and response between Andersen and Mack/Trapane and strong support from Sue Palmer on piano and Marty Dodson make this a real uplifting end to a cool release.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”