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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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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Kind Of Fool - The Mojo Roots - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (January 18, 2013), What Kind Of Fool, from the Mojo Roots and it's a barn burner. First I'm going to say that I will of course draw parallels to other bands and songs but these guys are all original and have put together a really sweet recording. The recording opens with What Kind Of Fool, the title track, which is written loosely over ABB's arrangement of Statesboro Blues. This is a cool track and the familiarity of the slide riffs and basic arrangement adds rather than detracts from the whole. I like it. Trevor 'TJ' Judkins rips through Mr. Allman like riffs adding his own style and originality. The second track, I Got The Blues, is a morphing of the Thrill Is Gone and a Savoy Brown arrangement of a classic R&B track with a new melody and a new spin again sounding very fresh. (If you don't know, I love classic Savoy Brown). Jordan Thomas has strong control over the vocals and is a perfect match for this type of blues rock band. TJ has just the right touch on guitar playing soulful blues solos without going over the top as some guys tend to do. Green-Eyed Baby, featuring Thomas on vocals and harp is up next. This track has a Key To The Highway style but again with a new song built aver a spectacular foundation is a certain winner. With Jim Rush (bass) and Andy Naugle (drums) the stage is set for TJ to play a very crisp guitar solo on this track. That Kind Of Girl has a Robert Cray style riff line but the track again takes a new turn with a a beat and hook line which will likely bee fairly popular on the airwaves. Otis Redding's I've Been Loving You Too Long is a nice soulful ballad smack in the middle of the set. This track is hard to compete with head to head but The Mojo Roots do a nice job at it with TJ stepping in with some hot riffs as the track builds. This is certain to be a crowd pleaser live. White Chicken Chili is a cool modern blues rocker with the poise of the Butterfield Blues Band playing the Work Song during the East West days with some Willie Dixon stirred in. The track has great balance between hot guitar riffs and lush harp riffs. This may be the best track on the release. Deaf, Dumb and Blind has a simple R&B theme and is set up as a simple ballad. The melody and performance are first class. TMR put up a really interesting arrangement of the traditional Hush (Somebody's Calling My Name). I have heard this track done many times but TMR have taken it to a new place and it is really done well. The melody is broadened and further explored. To a passive listener I believe it is not recognizable as an old spiritual. Excellent. John Mayall's, It's Over, is up next and The Mojo Roots really have it swingin'. TJ and Thomas play a tandem harp/guitar solo and then complimentary and it is well fit into another really well constructed and executed track. Not Loving You is heavily R&B influenced and has that warm familiar sound. TJ plays some really cool arpeggios on guitar throughout the track and closes with a single hot guitar riff. The recording is closed with one of my favorite harp tracks, Hoy Hoy Hoy. I was first introduced to this by King Biscuit Boy and from that time on I was hooked. In this case, TJ gets the opportunity to take a great few guitar treks and then of course the hot harp work by Thomas. This is a great new release and one that I think anyone who like modern blues tracks will really enjoy. I can see my pal Blues Ace whistling at near ear piercing levels and stompin' his foot as this track blows through.
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