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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, October 17, 2013

Dan McKinnon - As Sharp As Possible - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (November 19, 2013), As Sharp As Possible, from Dan McKinnon and it's a rockin blues riot! Opening with Ain't Looking Back, a strong blues rocker with hot drumming from Jon Foster, this 3 piece band plays with a lot of snarl. Aaron Carter plays with the intensity of Dusty Hill and Mc Kinnon uses his lead work as a flame thrower through hot dry timbers. King Of The Hill has a lot of swagger with a melodic edge a bit like Foghat. This is no slide guitar extravaganza so don't ask me why I say that but the music just has that sound. Very cool. Lucky One has a Chicago/jazz/Latin feel with a real nice touch by Foster. Clean, precise riffs paired with nasty dirty riffs make this a real interesting track. Got It Bad comes out of the gate like old Procol Harem (w/ Robin Trower) but with more of a groove. McKinnon takes no prisoners on his soloing clearing the way for vocal harmonies. Killing Time is a slow blues number with a lot of breathing space. McKinnon takes a couple of vocal bars but this track is all about the guitar as he shoots off riffs like ducks in a barrel. Nice! Heart Attack is a high speed rocker and the band is very tight. This is the radio track for sure capitalizing on it's catchy melody and raw attitude which is so popular right now, but also adding some jazz changes and smoking guitar riffs... oh yeah! Perfect Ten has a Buddy Guy like intro but turns into a standard 12 bar with a lot of pop appeal. Again, McKinnon steps up and lights up the strings. Boy can play! The Recipe is a cool jazz influenced instrumental track. McKinnon joined by Jack Deyzer let the guitars do all the talkin' on this Freddie King style track and it is certainly my personal favorite on the release. On One Regret, McKinnon falls back to a retro style of early rock and blues with blends of R&B and T-Bone Walker. Another track that could easily find mass airplay, this is a nicely constructed and executed tune. Wrapping the release is Different Road with a strong nod to Rollin' and Tumblin'. A straight up rocker with strong blues roots, McKinnon finishes the release in style with blistering guitar riffs. This is a cool release that should win McKinnon a lot of new fans.

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