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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, September 22, 2014

Vizztone Label Group artist: Skyla Burrell Band - Blues Scars - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (10/7/14), Blues Scars, from the Skyla Burrell Band and it rocks! Opening with title track, Blues Scars, is a funky rocker with a stinging guitar attack. Burrell handles the lead vocals and shares guitar work with co founding guitarist Mark Tomlinson, and strongly supported by Ezell Jones Jr. on drums and Michelle Lucas on bass. Bluesin' For Your Lovin', a nice Texas style blues rock slams back the door and Burrell's vocals very soulful. Rocker Trouble has a bunch of snap. With it's twisting/surf styling, this is a cool rocker with bright guitar riffs. Stuck In A Struggle is a lighter pop rock track but Burrell's unique vocal style gives it teeth. With it's driving beat, this is a cool radio track. Somber ballad, Love Letters In Blue, has some nicely stylized guitar work and crisp drumming from Jones supporting the vocal work of Burrell. Livin' For The Blues is a modern blues shuffle with a cool bass line from Lucas and nice slide work chasing Burrell's sultry vocals. Shut You Down is strongly rhythmic reinforced by Jones and Burrell steps up first on guitar followed closely by Tomlinson. On Life Storms,a boogie track, Burrell pushes her vocal styling and lays down a few cool guitar riffs. One of my favorite tracks, World Wide Blues has a cool Latin beat and chilly blues chords reminiscent of All Your Love (Otis Rush). Burrell steps up with some of the tastiest guitar riffs on the release nicely complimenting her super vocal delivery. Full Time Gambler is a blend of blues styles from Texas to Britain. With it's easy lope and slippery slide this is a cool track. Jace is another of my favorite tracks with a bit of an R&B feel. Burrell uses a light touch with her vocals and an easy going San Francisco style blues style solo, this track hits the spot. Juke Jointin' Tonight is a hot swinger (think Rocket 88) and a nice highlight for Burrell's vocals. Her guitar style works nicely with this tempo and Jones rides it tight. Tomlinson also steps up with a hot solo of his own pushed by Lucas with her walking bass. Very nice. 6 Mile Century Blues has a strong Big Brother styling which I really like. What I really like about it is that the band sounds like what Big Brother sounds like instrumentally with trem bends and arpegiated chords and driving drums but without a bad imitation of Janis Joplin. Really quite nice! 21st Century Blues is a straight up blues rocker right out of Albert King or Otis Rush's song book. With it's straight forward attack and juicy guitar work this release continues to build steam. Wrapping the release is Bad Business, a hard driving blues rocker pushed along by Lucas and with a cool rock n roll rhythm lead. Burrell and Tomlinson both take hot and nasty solos on the track and Jones is on top of it all keeping it tight.

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