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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, February 18, 2015

Balkun Brothers - ReDrova - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, ReDrova, from Balkun Brothers and it is a solid blues rocker. Opening with Last Jam (Oh Yeah!) this track has the solidity of early Sabbath and the attitude of Humble Pie. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Balkun has a solid voice and really knows how to grind out the riffs supported by ace drumming by Nick Balkun and heavy bass work of Caleb Battersby. This track rips! Excellent! Next up is title track ReDrova opening with a Peter Green like riff but with a lot of southern rock heavy grit. Steve shows a lot of finesse on slide work and Nick and Caleb drive the train. Very cool! Got My Boots On takes a different direction with a lively stripped down blues rocker. One of my favorite tracks on the release, it rocks! With a lot of the flavor of the new blues rockers with simple instrumentation, this track hits it square on the head. I really like Steve's vocals and stylistic guitar work on this track. Keep Me Warm has a 12 bar format but with a country rhythm. Quick paced and with howlin' slide work and finger pickin, this track blends pure blues, country and modern country rock coming up with a different sound altogether. Cool! Bippidee Bopp (name possibly taken from the drum riff), this track gets right into the Humble Pie - Road Runner groove... you got my attention! A funky blues with great bottom and slide.... what else could a guy ask for. This track is excellent! Keep It Up has a lot of the stye of Jeff's Boogie with a quick guitar riff over a fast paced boogie drive. Throw in a few jazz chords and a walking bass line and you've got it all! Sally's Blues digs down in the mud and pulls out that dark nasty blues that we all wait for. Steve's voice adapts nicely to this more bluesy styling and his quick guitar riffs under the vocals are really sweet. Larry "Buzzy" Fallstrom adds nice piano and organ work to this track for some warmth. Steve stretches out a little on this 6 plus minute track making him one of my new found blues guitar guys who I think have great chops that need to be heard! On Fried Pickle Party, Steve hits the resonator with a real nice slide riff joined by Dave Sadloski on harp. Slidin' Butt is a primarily an acoustic sliding session with a short atmospheric interlude creating a cool tension to the hard drive of the slide work. Nicely done. Tell Me (What's On Your Mind) has a real Elmore James style and is pure blues. A pure foot stomper with Steve just tearing up the resonator on slide this track is hot! Wrapping the release is Too Damn Long, more in the hill country style and a more rudimentary style. A great blues rocker, this is a perfect track to close a diverse album deeply infused in the blues and wild with slide. Do I recommend this release?.... you bet!

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1 comment:

  1. I have seen the Balkums an number of times live... Steve's use of the resonator guitar as a featured instrument, not just single use as a "guitar effect", is unique, impressive and something I have not seen before.

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