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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, March 4, 2014

9 Below Zero - Don't Point Your Finger - New Release Review

Now and again I receive super releases from earlier years modified or released to new audiences and this is one of them. Don't Point Your Finger from 9 Below Zero is a hot release that never stops. Opening with One Way Street is a terrific blues infused rock track with the melodic qualities of Ozark Mountain Dare Devils and the attitude of J. Geils band. Super! Doghouse is a quick rocker a la Chuck Berry. This band has mastered the ability to mix punk, blues and rock to come up with a sound of thie own and it's terrific. Mark Feltham really rips the harp on this track and Dennis Greaves is right on his tail. Helen is a straight up rocker with a cool hook just waiting for radio play. Ain't Coming Back is a bar style boogie withnice slide work from guitarist Greaves. Bassist Peter Clark and Drummer Stix Burkey keep it simple for lead vocals from Feltham and Greaves. Cool track. I Won't Lie, is a punky rocker with pop edge. Harp and guitar riffs bring the track to an appropriate boil. Roy Head's Treat Her Right really gets the treatment with a souped up make over. This is probably my favorite track on the release with a blistering guitar solo and constant harp throughout. Three Times Enough has a real early British sound similar to the Yardbirds Train Kept A Rollin. Excellent harp work and flaming guitar riffs push this track over the edge. Sugar Mama is a real deep and dirty blues track. Extremely hot guitar (Greaves) and harp Feltham) solos on this track make it a must listen. Following up with a guitar driven boogie, Don't Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man, the band demonstrates how well the Brits had infused rock and blues. This is a great track with a great beat. Rockin' Robin made popular by Bobby Day keeps a lot of the original R&B sound but with addition of smokin' harp. You Can't Please All The People All The Time is a more modern alternative style track maintaining the rockin beat and one that made the airwaves when originally released. The second disc (yes two) of this release was recorded live at the Granary, Bristol 24.10.1981. Opening with Don't Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man. This band is really hot live and this track will convince you immediately. True Love Is A Crime, is a rockin pop track but this band never lets the opportunity to rock out with guitar and harp get past you. Have you ever heard J Geils live. This band knows what "they" know. Live music should be hot! Three Times Enough is a hot rocker and a super vehicle to keep the crowd rev'd up. Greaves and Feltham keep it going. Ridin' On The L&N is a "train' song with all the fixin's a band can muster. This band really has that Stones/Berry swagger. I really like Greaves attack on guitar. Roy Head's Treat Her Right maintains all of the rock of the original but with gasoline on the fire. Smokin! 11+11 is a solid rocker not unlike the Kinks with the blues. Very cool. Willie Dixon's I Can't Quit You Baby doesn't stray far from Otis Rush's original arrangement. This is a great track and 9 Below really does a super nearly 7 minute version of it. A must hear! Back with Rockin' Robin the band is really kickin' it. The people lucky enough to see this show really got their money's worth. Sugarbeat (and Rhythm Sweet) is another alternative style rock track. Keeping with the clean pop format the band still lays down some hot riffs. Homework really shows a close comparison with the J Geils Band. I personally really like the early J Geils band work especially live so this band taking it deep is super. Bringing out a newer version of R&B hit the Four Tops I Can't Help Myself really plays into the hands of a band like this. With a Sam and Dave or Blues Brothers approach the band has the crowd hoppin. Made popular (at least in my circle) by Ry Cooder, Why Don't You Try Me Tonight is a super pop style track to get a breather before the home stretch. You Can't Please All The People All The Time again played straight up with alt pop beat is a sure crowd pleaser. Big Walter's Pack Fair and Square is always a great track and 9 Below is really winding on this track. Feltham takes the harp by the scruff and shakes it. Excellent! Wrapping the release is One Way Street with all of the swagger of a terrific blues rock band and that's just what this is. If you haven't heard this release... hear it! If you have, and you don't have a copy...get it! This is terrific!!

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