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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, December 15, 2014

Alive Records artist: Swamp Dogg - The White Man Made Me Do It - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, The White Man Made Me Do It, by Swamp Dogg and it's a funky soul party. Opening with funky title track, The White Man Made Me Do It, with a nod to Prince, it's Dogg on vocal and piano leads a large troupe of musicians including Moogster (keys), Charles Hayes (tenor sax), Andy Najara (bari sax), Phil Ranelin (trombone), Roy Weigind (trumpet), Steve "Stoney" Dixon (bass), Billy Haynes (bass), Lucky Lloyd Wright (guitar), Bill Barrett (trumpet), Troy Lombard (trumpet), Larry Williams (tenor sax), Michael Murphy ( organ and keys), Guitar Shorty (Lead Guitar) and Dan Weinstein (string ensemble). Lying, Lying, Lying Woman has more of an R&B sound with a driving beat. Hey Renae has a funky reggae beat and features a nice keyboard solo. Up next is Sam Cooke's, You Send Me, with a different spin on the nicely slung R&B tune. A smooth sax solo dresses this track up nicely against real nice lead vocals. Let Me Be Wrong is a cool R&B track with hot guitar riffs under the melody and hot horns. This track brings an echo of Sly Stone with it's horn vamp but really has it's own story. On classic blues track, Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash, with cool vocal lead and harmony the band really gets the house swinging. I'm So Happy has a nice R&B strut and clean vocals. I don't see any reference to fiddle on this track but there sure is something that sounds like a fiddle solo to me. Cool. What Lonesome Is has strong soul ballad bones and Dogg fills the lead vocal spot nicely. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah has a bit of a Motown sound with a "Temptations" feel. Where Is Sly has a funky high step sound and nice bass riffs. Lieber and Stoller composition, Smokey Joe's Cafe, saunters down the street helped along with deep sax lines. A cool guitar solo backed by organ tips this one. Light A Candle - Ring A Bell, another soul ballad has fiddle and guitar riffs punctuation strong vocals from Dogg. Predjudice Is Alive And Well has strong R&B bones and Dogg again shows his vocal prowess. Wailing guitar lead and strong bass bottom accents this track. Wrapping disc one is If That Ain't The Blues Nothing Is and a driving R&B beat. Bluesy guitar riffs and hot brass takes this track to a higher level. Disc two is a collection of Soul and Blues tracks starting with Rescue Me by Sandra Phillips. A cool R&B track with nice vocals by Phillips. Lightning Slim is up next on Good Morning Heartaches. A solid blues number, this track also features a strong horn backing and slick guitar riffs. I particularly like the vocals by Slim. Irma Thomas brings her R&B sound on strong with In Between Tears. This is a really nice track and Thomas is on top of her game. Charlie Whitehead's funky Read Between The Lines, is up next and tip top brass and low down sax makes this track rip. ZZ Hill's It Ain't No Use is a nice mixture between blues and R&B and Hill really does have a great voice. Doris Duke's blues ballad, To That Other Woman, has an almost spiritual feel and Duke really grabs it tight and shakes the emotion out of it. Very nice! Woofmoon track, What Is Heaven For, is a classic R&B track with solid horn and string backing. Swamp Dogg takes the last three tracks, Fuck The Bomb, a fast paced R&B track, and it's ultra clean piano work; Synthetic World, a classic R&B style ballad, and wrapping the release with My Life Ain't Nothing But A Blues Song. A high stepper with an almost Johhny Guitar Watson spin is a great track to complete this eclectic release.  

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