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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, March 24, 2014

Azuretone Records artist: Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers - Live At Buddy Guy's Legends Chicago - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (April 15, 2014) Live At Buddy Guy's Legends Chicago , from Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers and it rips! Opening with a hot cover of Elmore James' Wild About You Baby, Fuller wastes no time in whipping hot the hot slide action. Excellent! Next up is Rock N Roll Cowboy, a blues/boogie with a western twang. This track moves along really well and Fuller really knows how to deliver on guitar and vocals. Next up is John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom. Glen "Manny" Manuel on bass and Mark Ward on drums carry the bottom and Keith Blair rides the organ on this primarily vocal boogie. Richard Doc Malone fills in with some choice harp riffs and Fuller continues JLH's intention with guitar in pure boogie style. Love and Alcohol is a cool original slow blues track with great old style blues riffs throughout. JL Hooker and Johnny Winter are definitely present in spirit. This is a very expressive track with a lot of the feel of delta blues but electrified. Very cool. Bayou Blue has a Tony Joe White feel Blair taking the first spot with a cool piano solo. Fuller steps up with a real swagger on guitar with CCR like feel. Nice track. Walkin' Shoes is a fast paced boogies track with what you say Jon Lord like organ soloing and fire spitting guitar work. Rock on! Otis Rush killer, So Many Roads is up next and Fuller brings up some of his best vocals. Maintaining a very similar pace to the original, Blair rolls out some really super key strokes grabbing the essence of the real blues. Flipping over to organ as punctuation, Doc Malone rolls in on harp. Fuller does make it up to the front and center squeezing out some nasty guitar riffs. This is tasty stuff man! On classic R&B/rocker, Take Out Some Insurance Baby, Blair and Fuller have the lead rhythm and Manuel and Ward do the heavy lifting. Malone steps up with a nice harp solo on this track. Fuller isn't shy to show his chops on guitar and that's a good thing because he does have some good ones. Nice job. Ronnie Dawson track, Rockinitus, has that Ray Charles/Billy Boy Arnold feel and Ward really shines on this track. It's cool that this is a live release as it captures a lot of the instrumental spontaneity of this band in action... something that I believe would be lost on a studio recording. Feelin' Evil has a slow blues lope giving Fuller a super opportunity to slip back on with the slide and he has a cool feel. Malone is again the first to step up with a harp solo but Fuller isn't far behind with great slide tone. Blair again delivers on the 88's and shares riffs with Fuller. The band takes it way down and Fuller quietly but feverishly lays out the sliders plan. It's really hard not to enjoy his playing with his technical mastery and tactile exploration of the fretboard as he builds the pressure. Sallie Mae has a strong Bo Diddley beat and Fullers vocals are again at their best. Ward hammers out the beat like a marching machine and Manny is solid in the slot. Blair, Fuler and Malone share the spotlight equally on this track making it well balanced and a good winder for the grand finale. Eddie Clearwater penned this last track, I Wouldn't Lay My Guitar Down, and Blair plays it in Jerry Lee Lewis style. With a real driving guitar riff, Fuller enters Chuck Berry/Keith Richards territory showing some pretty flashy rock riffs. Malone steps in again with solid harp work and the crew wraps up a pretty hot set!]

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