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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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Friday, December 19, 2014

Robin Banks - Modern Classic - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Modern Classic, from Robin Banks and it has an appeal all it's own. I've listened to this a number of times now and it has a clearness and clarity that is rarely heard in today's music. Opening with A Man Is Just A Man, Banks demonstrates the clarity of her voice and also her intentions of making a album of music that came out of a '57 Chevy. It has that kind of simple human quality. Superhero is a easy bop with really nice guitar work from Duke Robillard. Again the sound is early sixties pop. I Really Dig You goes back even a bit further to possibly Dinah Washington and that early pop jazz sound. Bruce Bears on keys and Robillard spice up the track with clarity and swing and Mark Early lays out a real nice sax solo as well. Crazy has some really cool guitar effects and Doug James really lays in some nice Bari sax. Mark Teixeira keeps the rhythm tight giving it a nice sparkle and again Early steps up and kicks it! My Baby Loves Me has a real nice easy swing and Doug Woolverton hits the muted trumpet. The bluesiest track on the release is also my favorite and possibly the best demonstration of Banks vocal style. Robillard lays down some really nicely articulated guitar solos and Doug James bottom supplied sax is tops. A Little Bit Of Heaven has a Latin feel with Teixeira coaxing pure rhythm out of the track. Bruce Bears riffs sound like they were born in Cuba and Banks is spot on vocally. Robillard lays in a light fingered Latin guitar solo and Brad Hallen takes on the lead instrumentally with Bears as the track steps up to full swing. I'll Meet You There has an Al Green R&B feel but with more southern soul vocals. Early again steps up with a hot sax solo and Banks vocal duet and Woolverton on trumpet gives it that Memphis sound. Bears opens Tonight with spy piano riffs and Banks gets into that pop jazz swing. Bears and Robillard trade instrumental lead on this track and even Hallen and Teixeira get into the action. Cool! Bite Your Tongue has that good southern funky soul with horn punctuation. Bears takes a hot organ solo and Robillard throws down as well. A sassier vocal style on this track really lends itself nicely to the styling. On boogie track, You Boogie Too Fast For Me, Bears and Hallen give the boogie a ride. A slick piano interlude by Bears adds significantly to the overall feel. Ballad, A Place In The City, finds Bears delivering a gospel or Robbins if you will, piano style giving the track a country sound. Robillard lays down some double stop guitar work that even more enforces the overall country sound. Wrapping the release is Some Day Soon, another pop jazz track with Banks swinging out. Bears is light and bright on the keys and Teixeira on brushes allows the warmth of Hallen to come through having the feel of a true jazz trio (quartet with vocal). This is a different kind oof blues for a lighter listen but I believe that there is a strong audience out there for exactly this.

  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”


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Silver Street Records artist: Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers - Living By The Minute - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (January 13, 2015), Living By The Minute, by Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers and I really like it. Hoyer's last release, a self titled CD was hot and this one is a super followup. Opening with soul strut title track, Living By The Minute, Hoyer with his strong soulful voice and fine keyboard playing backed by Denny Kushner on guitar and vocal, Justin G. Jones on drums and vocals, Josh Bargar on bass and vocal, Mike Dee on sax and vocal, Tommy Van Den Berg on trombone, Brian Morrow on flute and Hanna Bendler, Kim Moser & Megan Spain on backing vocal really hit the groove. Excellent! Misfit Children has a funky jazz groove with a hot horn/organ thing. I particularly like the drum riffs by Jones on this track popped by Morrow on flute. Great track! Over The City is s soul/R&B ballad with warm backing vocals and cool trombone by Van Den Berg. A Man Who Believes His Own Lies has a strong radio vibe with swinging pace and pop backing vocals. A nice sax solo by Dee nicely compliments the track. Let It Out is a hard roller along the Ike and Tina or Otis Redding line. Full blown horn backing and crisp drumming from Jones keeps this track moving. The First One is a really nice soul ballad giving Hoyer plenty of space to show his strong voice. Easy backing vocals and soft horns surround Hoyer as he sings. Dee steps up for a really sweet sax solo and the song builds in traditional soul style to a very nice crescendo before a quiet ending. Very nice! Real Time has complex rhythms with straight R&B on top with vocal and drums but with a Latin twist under the bottom with Hoyers keys, backing vocals and supporting musicians. 11:11 333 has a direct Latin Beat and Hoyer really works it. Backing vocalist add a really smooth blanket of sound right up to the time change when the band bridges into a James Brown strut. Kushner pushes even higher with a rich distortion filled electric guitar solo taking the track into a full blown jam. Blood and Bone has an absolute hot groove. A James Brown hits Bourbon Street feel with hot horns, and well phrased vocals. Jones is again setting a hot rhythm and Van Den Berg and Dee crank it up. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Don't Turn Away, a funky but mellower track which just has the feel of a closing track. Van Den Berg and Dee each take hot lap and Kushner lays down some hot riffs as well. A very nice conclusion to an overall excellent 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”