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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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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Nood Records artist: John Campbelljohn - Chin Up - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Chin Up, from John Campbelljohn and it's a fusion of country and blues. Opening with swing boogie, The Mumble Boogie, Campbelljohn steps right up with his notorious slide guitar and steps on the gas. Backed by Neil Robertson on drums and Ronald Hynes on bass this track cooks. I Got It All brings it down a few notches and with more of a country 2 step feel. Smooth and easy is how he handles the guitar work on this track with clever vocals and a radio melody. Meet My Maker is a stripped down blues number with guitar harmonics and rudimentary drums. A cool slide solo on this track sweetens the pot. I really like the different feel of The Poor Man Plays. It has a swampy funk and backing vocals by Martha Mae Campbell, Megan Baxendale and Stan Carew. Very cool! Castaway is a blues rocker with a simple repetitive riff. Driving bass line from Hynes and a wide open slide solo cap this track. Attitude has some of the coolest slide work on the release over a simple spoken lyric and a basic rhythm backing. Nice! Ballad How Stupid Is That is a catchy melody with a hook. Another track that could easily gather radio followers, this track bears slick acoustic resonator slide work and cool piano riffs from Robert Campbell. Another blues rocker with a country twist is Stop Making Excuses. Campbelljohn delivers his vocals with attitude and knows how to back his words with stinger riffs. Articulate blues riffs with country sting permeate this track. Sally In The Alley has an attitude all it's own with a driving swagger and pinched harmonic guitar riffs trimming along the way. One of my favorites on the release. Fantistico Supremo is a rocker with a zydeco twist for lack of a better description. Free wheelin' slide guitar (lap steel) work on this track gives it a country feel. Good Morning Mr. Blue Sky also has a New Orleans flavor and a country basis featuring backing vocals by Martha and Megan. Campbelljohn wraps the release with simple folk track, She's Gone, features John on vocal, backed by Martha and megan and light acoustic slide. A nice conclusion to a solid release.

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