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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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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

88 Records artist: Kelley Hunt - The Beautiful Bones - New Release review

I just received the newest release, The Beautiful Bones, from Kelley Hunt and it's surprisingly good! Opening with a high stepping This Time, singer / song writer Hunt shows a little Billy Preston flair on piano under her solid vocals. Backed by Brian Owings (drums), Tim Marks (bass), John Jackson (guitar), Mark Jordan (B3), Mitch Kelley (sax) and Jon-Paul Frappier (trumpet) this band gets it moving. Golden Hour has a strong gospel feel with cool backing vocals by Regina McCrary, Alfreda McCrary, and Ann McCrary. Kelly is really a super vocalist and supports herself well with percussive piano work. Jackson lays down some cool guitar riffs on this track as well. Let It Rain is a solid R&B style ballad without a lot of star search pyrotechnics. Actually quite nice. Release And Be Free is soul personified with a hot taste of gospel. This is someone who has tasted the waters of Aretha Franklin. Now that is a strong statement but first I'll clarify that I did not say that Hunt sounds like Franklin, but that she has many of Aretha's best attributes. Her phrasing is terrific and the song just makes you want to sit back and listen. Again the McCrary sisters do a really nice job on vocal backing for this track. Excellent! When Love Is At The Wheel is an upbeat R&B track not unlike you might expect from Ike and Tina. Simplify is an easy paced R&B ballad, nicely constructed and showing Hunts comfort in this style. Her songs are nicely crafted and her voice is spot on. Title track, The Beautiful Bones, has a particularly nice feel, Hunt taking it all on her vocal style and wonderful phrasing. This could easily be a direct cover of an Aretha Franklin song it feels so good. I have to say congratulations. Hunt does not sound like she is copying Franklin, her voice isn't really similar to Franklin's, but her feel and phrasing is just right. Gates of Eden loosens back up to a more R&B pop style of the likes of Mississippi singer Bobbie Gentry. Instrumentally, John Jackson creates a sonic environment with electric guitar and effects. I've Got A Good Feeling has a really cool swing pairing Hunts vocals and piano with Tony Harrell on B3. Jackson steps up with a little country flair on guitar but the song is really a a bluesy shuffle. I Want You There is another delicately crafted ballad. With it's sweet melody and a nicely placed sax solo from Mitch Reilly this is another track that could receive broad airplay. Concluding the release is The Sweet Goodbye, a track based on a gospel basis. With a delicate hand and a strong voice, Hunt sings and plays her way to the conclusion of a very strong release.  

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2 comments:

  1. Outstanding accomplishment!

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  2. I just love this release. Blues and R&B at it's best, but with the famous Kelley Hunt message that lifts you UP; her music is more than just the sum total of great musicianship, musicians, writing, and vocals; it heals. There are many stories from many people around the world that will testify to this. So, pick it up...and be lifted up. Rock on, Kelley Hunt!

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