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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, January 28, 2014

Dixie Peach - Blues With Friends - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (February 4, 2014), Blues With Friends, from Dixie Peach and it's actually quite smooth! I didn't realize it when I first received this release, but I had this band's first LP in my vinyl collection for many years (bought by a collector as a part of a atlas van sized purchase a few years back). I bought this release one day from a store called Record Rama in Etna, Pa based purely on the hopes that their version of Paint My Mailbox Blue would be decent. I really liked the release.

 Opening with the woody sound of a slide guitar, Too Much Trouble sets a solid path of southern rocky blues. Ira Stanley knows his way around the slide and delivers warm luscious tones. Complimented by Tony Paulus on keys and his own vocals this is a nice track. Next up is Pork Chop Blues, a blues track with Latin rhythm. Stanley takes the first solo with a little chicken pickin' and shows he knows how to strum the strings too. He is joined by Jack Pearson who tosses out some hot blues and jazz riffs on guitar and giving the floor up to Lee Roy Parnell who blisters the fretboard with clean blues rock runs. Gary King (trombone), Michael Greene (Sax), Matt Quinn (sax) and brady Hagen (trumpet) add the horns. Great track. Night Ride has more of a jazz ballad feel and Steve Benson keeps it tight with light rhythm drums. Jack Pearson plays slick guitar riffs against Stanley's vocals. Coming Home Today opens with a light pop style but switches to a full Allman style country blues jam. Don't Want To Wait, one of my favorite tracks on the release has a gospel harmony style (Etta Britt on duet and lead vocal). Parnell plays some really fat hot slide on this track and Paulus really knows how bring up the gospel styling on piano. Super! Bottle Hymn Of The Republic features Stanley, Pearson and Parnell all on slide and it really is a cool track. With a twist on the Battle Hymn of the Republic without getting too rigid, these guys rock it! Trouble With Love features Stanley and Scotty Bratcher on tandem guitars sounding quite a bit like early work by Pete Carr. Stanley and Britt trade vocal lead on this track. With mostly airplay styling, the guitar work really sets the track apart. It's Cryin' Time is a country blues cross over ballad with a nice set up allowing melodic blues guitar soloing. Very nice. Wait A Minute has a swing intro with Stanley playing some classic riffs. Trading hot riffs throughout with Bratcher this track is really crisp. Closing the release with shuffle track Rick's Shuffle, Stanley and Lee Swisher trade some really nice slide solos. With primarily only a simple bed of bass (Mike Rousculp), drums (Benson) and keys (Paulus) this track sets a nice groove leaving you wanting more.

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