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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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Monday, August 5, 2013

Live At the Hermosa Saloon - Phil Gates - New release review

I just received a copy of Live At The Hermosa Saloon by Phil Gates and it's really tasty! Opening with Addicted to The Blues, Gates hauls out a basic shuffle with a nice swing. Supple vocals and sassy guitar riffs define this track. On Messin' With The Kid, Gates stays close to the original arrangement and a nice organ solo by Morris Beeks opens the door for some hot rippin guitar work. Ron Battle leads Away I Go with a funky bass line. Vocal harmonies define this track which has a bit of a pop line but doesn't limit the instrumental interludes on keys and guitar. Keith Williams keeps the beat tight on drums throughout. Gates takes Allman like free flowing guitar solo's complimenting the track nicely. You Used Me Up is a cool R&B style track along the lines of You Hurt Me Too. Again , Beeks steps up with a full organ solo and the barn door flies open letting the slide out. Absolutely rippin slide solo's really trigger this track and are like molasses for blues fans! Up Tempo End Of Time finds Gates in an Albert Collins style track again with solid organ work from Beeks. Gates doesn't mince words when it's time to play , stepping up and just slamming it down. Real nice! Evening Train takes a Chicago/ Muddy Waters /rockin blues approach and turn out a solid jam. Wrapping the release with a more contemporary sounding Get Around To Me with a Seasons of the Witch like melody and John Mayer like rhythm, it would appear to be a great track for solid radio play. Gates plays a grinding guitar solo which really has a lot of south in the riffs but with nice fluidity without going overboard with showmanship. This is a solid release which should satisfy existing Gates fans as well as win him a boatload of new ones.

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