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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, May 22, 2013

Slim Butler - Inner Blues - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Inner Blues, from Slim Butler and it really smokes! Opening with Mr Big Shot, this band is crankin from the start. Featuring Andrew Black on vocal and Jarmo Pahakka and Otis Grand on guitar this track is a real burner. What Have You Done, featuring Sugar Ray Norcia on vocals and Puhakka on guitars is a slow R&B style blues and it is right on target. Juhani Vitikka on keys, Hannu Lehtomaa on bass, and Markku Orislahti on drums round out the band on this great track. Jarmo has a real sweet ability to hold back on the guitar and then explode with hot meaningful riffs. Super! Never Lose My Soul, another R&B style track but with a bit of Latin influence features Norcia and his silver throat again on vocals and Jarmo plays some really tasty electric and acoustic classically influenced guitar riffs setting this track apart. A Heart Of Ice again features Black on vocals and finds a real guitar partnership to reckon with. Otis Grand playing a hot whammy strat solo, Jarmo on electric and Raimo Hakala wailin away on lap steel. Excellent! Henry Valanne contributes drums on this track as well as others. Life On The Line is a chuggin kind R&B style of blues with a great back beat. Featuring Black on vocals the rhythm section sets a great pace and Jarmo answers the call with stinging guitar response. Hey Bartender is a driving boogie and one of the coolest tracks with a real Texas twist. Norcia delivers the goods on this track and Jarmo plays Texas style over a great driving rhythm section of Lehtomaa and Valanne. Mexican Tears is a real Tex Mex rocker with all the juicy licks and rockin rhythm guitar. Black is back on lead vocal and the track is quite a lot of fun with notable contributions by Vitikka on keys.  Got To Move is thick and greasy featuring Black on vocals but Jarmo really puts on the heat and has super deluxe, thick guitar tone on this one. Vitikka lays down some cool organ work on this track as well. Final track, I Can't Imagine Why, is a solid blues ballad featuring Black again on vocal. Jarmo plays sweet, heartfelt guitar solos throughout this track, never overplaying, but just applying riffs as punctuation. Taking a decently long melody line lead guitar solo Jarmo pulls all attention his way but then with a nice balance with vocalist Black they close out the track together. Very cool. The title track, Inner Blues, is actually a bonus track on this release. Really a modern delta style guitar duet, Grand and Jarmo play one of the least polished yet most interesting tracks on the release. I think that this recording is superb and should get a lot of attention. It isn't just the big names but the band is really terrific. They have put together a great release and it is well executed. Excellent!

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