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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, December 23, 2013

Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho! - Halley DeVestern Band - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (January 7, 2014), Fabbo! Boffo! Smasho!, from The Halley Devestern Band and they have their own power sound. Opening with horn infused funky pop track, Muscle Memory, the band sets a dance grove and Halley immediately shows influences of Joplin. Kangaroo Momma has a real nice strut to it with solid lead vocals and cool backing vocals. The band is made up of a who's who, Halley (vocal) of Big Brother; David Patterson (guitar) of Shawn Mullins; Rick Kulsar (drums) of The Zen Tricksters, Toasters and Mickey Dolenz; and Tom Heinig (bass) of Lamont Cranston and Mill City. Blues track Money Ain't Time is a direct hit from Big Brother's song back with Edd Kelhoff on organ (very nice Edd) and Halley demonstrating a strong sense of Joplin's phrasing and feel. Tore Up (From The Floor Up) is a cool composition which really sounds like it's from the Frank Zappa song book. Mark Mancini plays some cool funky keys on this track adding a lot to the general feel of the track. Ethereal, Boil, is possibly my favorite track on the release with a solid drum beat by Kulsar and moving bass line from Heinig. Overall a very creative track. American Pain is another really strong track opening with simple gospel style piano riffs from Mancini and easy vocal work from DeVestern. Developing into a fully "orchestrated" track, it keeps it clean and simple. Very very nice. Code 9 have a strong R&B/funk strut and Halley is belting and the CNP Horns [Thomas Hutchings (sax), Indofunk Satish (Trumpet and Flugelhorn), and Matt MacDonald (trombone)] are adding some really smokin' backing. Mancini and Patterson both get a chance to play nice solos on this track as well. The Jesus I Know is sown deep in gospel styling with smooth organ and piano work from Mancini. Definite Joplin vocal phrasing is evident and nicely presented by DeVestern. A powerful track showing shades of Bonnie Bramlett and Macy Gray as well is a cool track and a nice wrap to the release.

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