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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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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Delta Breeze - Les Dudek - New release review - Ellis James guest writer

The latest release from Les Dudek, Delta Breeze, starts off in total Chaos, a funky tune with Jeff Beck-like riffs and vague references to the artists’ perception of our current world. This tune is a tight instrumental of great fret dancing and percussion backing that ends with a bang. Title cut Delta Breeze brings out more of Dudek’s more familiar style and vocals. Lyrics add a positive element to this song adding the intended ‘breeziness’ to the more aggressive guitar attack beneath the words. Fast paced and well received. Les allows himself space to stretch out a bit in extended solo work which is very welcomed to my ears. High on the Water introduces more of his Southern Rock, Allman Brothers style sounding like a happy cocktail of key, tempo and Country picking reminiscent of Dickey Betts and the steely slide of David Lindley with a shot of vocals borrowed from early Jackson Browne. The good time party pacing makes for a fun tune with full rests thrown in which effectively refocuses the listener back into the score. The results are cool and pleasant to the taste. Dudek was successful in painting a smile on my face and making me think of boating across a lake or hitting the road. Speaking of hitting the road, Wide Open In The Wind is an obvious ode to the Harley’s that we own, love or wish we owned. A definite biker tune is underscored with a driving bass line with catchy guitar hook repeating onto itself throughout the song. Again, Dudek brings out the Southern Rock slide guitar over top of the basic driving beat. Time Will Tell brings out the questions of morality and ethics. Effective use of backup vocals brings a nice change to the song which help to differentiate it from the prior songs. Thankfully, Dudek makes use of slightly different style of playing. The playing, especially in the change-up reminded me of the better moments of Rick Derringers’ Knighted By the Blues, (2009). This cut breaks away from the Betts picking and sails a bit more smoothly. One White Lie returns to the Allman Brothers harmonics but switches from it before becomes a crutch. Vocals lack here more than in other spots but the incredible musicianship more than make up for the gnit-picking from this reviewer. I’d be extremely lucky and thrilled to do half as well. A hint of New Orleans funky back beat of Take My Money brings a fun aspect to what could have been an otherwise throw-away song. The straight ahead Texas-blues attack makes Trouble With The Law a personal favorite. Be sure to catch your breath prior to this one. Fast-paced, I barely had time to decide if Dudek should be arrested for killing the Johnny Winter style, trespassing on Stevie Ray Vaughan territory or making use of a ZZ Top vehicle. Excellent harmonica playing locks up this as the stand out song of this collection. Les exclaims that ‘he is always in trouble with the law’. Playing like he does in this song is sure to bail him out in any one’s opinion. Very enjoyable! Take gives a Dixie Dregs, Steve Morse riff with a Eddie Van Halen tip of the hat to make a more pop mixture that sounds like a Program Director's pick for air play. Rounding out the collection is These Are The Good Old Days which I guessed to be Carly Simon cover but only shares the phrase and basic concept of reminding ourselves to enjoy life as it happens. Lyrics are the primary emphasis in this song. Wisdom of experience and expression of love and good intentions are distinctively expressed. “Leaving my love and memories with this song” indeed. Dudek  started this release with concerns of economic collapse and ‘Chaos’ and ended with a song of encouragement and reminders of what really brings value and richness to our lives. This effort is very much worth your while. Another great effort from a personal favorite. Good job, Les!
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