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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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Friday, October 10, 2014

Stony Plain Records artist: Billy Boy Arnold - The Blues Soul Of Billy Boy Arnold - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (October 21, 2014), The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold, from Billy Boy Arnold and it's solid. Opening with R&B track Coal Man, Arnold leads the way on vocal with heavy support from Rich Lataille on sax, Mark Earley on sax and Doug Woolverton on trumpet. Hopping right on the harp on the intro of the classic I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water, Arnold plays this boogie out with slick guitar work from Duke Robillard and Bruce Bears who always shines on piano. Taking the last solo spot on the track Arnold rips out a nice one chased by Mark Teixeira on drums. You Give Me Nothing To Go On has a solid R&B feel with Robillard stepping up with a nice solo. Arnold hops on a cool solo of his own and Bears rolls high under the melody. 99 lbs., another R&B laden track is straight up rolling straight to the radio with it's hook. Joe Tex's A Mother's Prayer is a high stepper with warm backing vocals from Anita Suhanin and Jack Gauthier. On classic St. James Infirmary Arnold opens with a solitude harp solo, breaking into a smooth swing number. Arnold really has a relaxed vocal style on this track, complimented as Bears plays a really nice piano solo and Robillard some tight guitar riffs. Don't Set Me Free has a Latin rhythm and a tight fast paced night club sound with round backing vocals and full horn backing. Lataille lays down a really nice sax solo and the deep bottom is nicely complimented by Earley as Woolverton wraps the track with a hot trumpet riff. 12 bar blues number, What's On The Menu Mama, has a great blues feel and Arnold gets a nice groove going. Bears adds substantially throughout the track with great piano riffs and Robillard lays in a real nice guitar solo as well. My favorite track on the release, BB King's Worried Dream, is a perfect blend of Arnold on vocal and Robillard's guitar. Brad Hallen lays down just enough bass to cook this track and Robillard really digs deep creating that eye closing moment when you just sit back and groove. Very nice! Next up is Chuck Berry's Nadine. Holding much of Berry's original feel but with just a little bit more boogie, this is a cool track. Robillard also lays in a stylized Berry like riff closing the track. The classic, Work Song, seems a natural for this band with it's lineup. Arnold sings somewhat "naked" for a bit of the track but building backing as the track rolls. Bears takes a really nice jazzy solo first and as always his style is stellar. Robillard is up next and there's no questioning his unmistakable talent and taste. Very nice! Dance For Me has a basic Hooker form at it's core with raw vocals, uneven timing, stripped down harp and guitar. Very nice! Boogie track Ain't That Just Like A Woman really is the best track to feature bears on piano and he doesn't miss a second. Arnold does a real nice job on vocals and plays a loose harp solo on this track. Robillard spins a hot solo of his own bringing Arnold back to wrap it up on harp. Closing the release is well known, Keep On Rubbing, and Arnold delivers his vocals in a sly style with Robillard adding just the perfect riff to polish up the track. “Like” Bman’s Facebook page. I use Facebook to spread the word about my blog (Now with translation in over 50 languages). I will not hit you with 50 posts a day. I will not relay senseless nonsense. I use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on my blog each day. In this way I can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here

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