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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, May 2, 2013

Auburn Sky Records artists: Matt Baxter and Jake Sampson - Haunted - New release Review

I just received the new release, Haunted, from Matt Baxter and Jake Sampson and it really hits the spot! Opening with Someday, an old delta blues track written now. Baxter wastes no time at all demonstrating his ability to play beautiful delta riffs and Sampson has on of those voices that are made to sing the delta blues. Dusty Mule is an exceptional track with Sampson clearly demonstrating a pure love for early JL Hooker music. Rarely do I hear anyone even trying to emulate the master on vocals and Sampson has a clear command of what it takes to make it his own. Baxter know exactly what to do with his guitar and with authenticity. Jaime Lynn has a bit more of a country blues sound with sliding accent notes and melody lines. This is really Baxter's turn to shine and he does a nice job. Same Old Pain is another cool delta track sung in a story telling manner and with odd Hooker timing. I love it! Don't It Make You Feel Good, takes an entirely different turn with a Latin rhythm and with the addition of Tony Coleman on drums and Dave Pellicciaro on B3. This is a very strong track with the warmth of a smooth jazz track and Baxter plays lush electric guitar riffs to compliment Sampson's voice. Little Girl Gone is a very bold electric blues track and possibly the best track on the release. I love both the vocal and guitar treatment of this track. Excellent! Take Me Back Home, another track that has strong Hooker influences stirs some really slick guitar riffs against Sampson's vocals and is complimented nicely by Simon Russell on Piano. The release is completed by Highway 54, a broke down blues track with earthy vocals and warm guitar riffs. This is a real nice mostly acoustic blues release with some really great tracks. There are some clear influences by the blues fathers and that is really strongly handled. I actually prefer modern interpretations of older players to some of the work done trying to modernize the real players in a crafty fashion. This is a release that is deserving of a good long listen.  

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