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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, February 28, 2013

Nerus Records artist: The Hitman Blues Band - Blues Enough - New Release Review

I just received the newly released (January 31, 2013)recording, Blues Enough, by The Hitman Blues Band. The recording opens with the title track, Blues Enough, a rockin' blues style track featuring Russell "Hitman" Alexander on guitar and vocal, Kevin Tymer on keys, Mike Porter on bass, Guy LaFountaine on drums, Michael Snyder on sax, Eric Altarac on trumpet and Al Alpert on trombone. Sam The Bluzman is a swinging big horn sound blues track with Alexander playing some cool riffs under the vocal track. Fishing Where The Fish Are has a Latin beat and clever lyrics. About midway through as is often the case with Latin style blues the band breaks into full swing and then back to Latin rhythm. Alexander lays down some nice heat on this track. Snyder warms up the bottom with his sax style. Backhand Drive opens with a hot guitar riff and Alexander continues throughout the track with some hot slide licks. Snyder steps up again and plays some hot riffs on sax and Alexander chases him with slide over a bed of brass. Very cool. Every Piece Of Me is a really nice soul style blues track like (I'd Rather Go Blind) and Altarac and Alpert fill out the back over LaFontaine keeping a stiff beat. Alexander takes a cool guitar break and is followed by Rymer on organ. One of my favorite tracks on the release. Everything You Do is an upbeat blues track with a Texas style lope, and gives Rymer a nice shot on the piano. Alexander plays some "Allmanesque" slide riffs and Snyder again contributes some nice sax work. Streets of Downtown is a slow ballad allowing Alexander to show some his best vocal work on the release as well as flash his hand on the fretboard. Life's Too Short is another swinging track with a Latin soaked beat and Duane influenced slidework. Although not at all sounding like a ABB track, Alexander has captured Allmans 'spirit" in his playing. Better Class Of Bums shows a bit of humor and allows tha band to "play it loose". With a cool light jazz feel on a swing blues track, Rymer plays some really nice keys on this track. Mike Porter quietly keeps the groove going and Altarac and Alpert fill the back with warm horn work. Alpert takes an unexpected trombone solo on this track and that always adds a nice spark to a track. Altarac also gets the chance to rips some nice lead work. Deaf, Dumb and Blind is another slow soul style blues track. This track is again really well suited for Alexanders voice and he echo's his voice with complimentary guitar work and the horn section. Finishing the release is Tough Street, a rip roaring slide bonanza. If you dig slide guitar this is your track. This is a cool release with a lot of flavor.
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