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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 17, 2014

Brandon Isaak- Here On Earth - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Here On Earth, from Brandon "Yukon Slim" Isaak and it's quite good! Opening with Jim O'Jim a quiet finger picked traditional country blues style track Isaak has a solid voice, a firm guitar bass and nice harp. All Night Long is a poppy acoustic track with alternating bass line and nicely complimented harp work. Gamble On Love is a solidly written "Hillbilly Jazz" track with a nice swing, Dixieland influences and jazzy guitar riffs. This track is a lot of fun. Daniel Lapp adds some really nice cornet as well but Isaak has the center stage with some really clean guitar riffs. Meet Me There has gospel feel and nice slide work. Isaak continues to demonstrate that he is really a solid singer/songwriter deserving of much broader attention. Getting loose on slide on this track adds a cool warmth. Dead Ass Fool has a real proper John Lee Hooker style with the foot stomp and all. With primitive but concise guitar riffs and no pretense, I really like this tracks style! Best track on the release! Funky track City Lights sees the addition of drums (Ed White) and bass (Keith Picot). With a little bit of a swampy flavor this sounds like Dr John is channeling. Dianna Was Her Name has that country blues style with smartly articulated finger picking. Smooth vocals added to a well written track and cool hook make this a candidate for solid radio play track. Up The Frisco Line has that rag feel but with a contemporary slickness. Isaak knows how to lay his vocals right on top of the track and really nice fiddle work adds nicely to this track. Excellent! Best You Can finds Isaak on dobro and a solid finger picked /slider blues track but with the rag feel. Maintaining his bright feel this release just keeps adding up points making it a solid winner. Dressed 4 Heaven is nicely complimented on backing vocals adding a swampy feel. Isaak has such a nice voice for music like this that his smart guitar work becomes almost secondary. If It Don't Fit is a quick little rag like you might expect from Ryland Cooder. Addition of guttural harp work and tight guitar work makes this another favorite. Oh Virginia is a quiet little ballad primarily featuring vocal work. Time On My Hands sounds like it was written before the popularity of the 6 string guitar with percussive like guitar rhythm. Cool bass additions from Picot and nice slide work over the rhythm on this track are the ticket. A cool track to wrap up a fun release. Isaak should get really good recognition from this release.

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