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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 5, 2015

Windchill Records artist: Breezy Rodio - So Close To It - New Release review

I just received the newest release, So Close To It, from Breezy Rodio and it's terrific! Opening with a track made popular by BB King, When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer, Rodio leaves no question if he can sing emulating one of the greatest in BB King. The totally surprising thing to me is his Mike Bloomfield like guitar phrasing. Wonderful! Backed by Ariyo Sumito on piano, Light Palone on bass and Lorenzo Francocci on drums, this first track is a knockout! Quique Gomez opens title track, So Close To It, on harp and Jen Williams with rich, gospel like backing vocals makes this track really special. Rodio's crisp vocals and tight gripped guitar solos make this another must hear. Latin rhythm and a Ray Charles feel fuses Just About To Lose Your Clown, and Rodio throws down some really sweet Spanish jazz guitar riffs. Backed by Chris Foreman on organ and Art Davis on trumpet this track is hot! 12 bar Chicago style Walking With My Baby (She's So Fine) features master harpster Billy Branch Ariyo really gets the piano rolling. Sneakin' Around has a solid R&B feel with Rodio taking a vocal spotlight. Doug Scharf on trumpet adds nice punctuation and Rodio takes the opportunity to play super bluesy guitar riffs off of the melody. Very nice! Snappy paced On Time To Come Back Home, again with the feel of Ray Charles, gives Ariyo some space to lead the way and Bill Overton adding warmth on sax. Kicking it into high gear the track takes on full revival lead by Chris Foreman on organ. Too Lazy has a kicked back jazz feel with Overton and Davis on horns and Ariyo on piano nicely complimenting Rodio on vocal. Supple jazz lines by Rodio on this track enter into Ronnie Earl land nicely demonstrating his broad range of technique. Very nice! On uptempo jazz felt blues, Mary, Rodio bends into A King land and the band swings. Super nice groove! Rodio is joined on lead vocal by Joe Barr and Carl Weathersby on The Day I Met You. This not only gives the track more texture but gritty soul. Nice and easy guitar riffs are smoothly integrated into the track making it one of the best tracks on the release. Blues swinger I Can't Get Enough Of You features really nice piano work by Ariyo and smooth guitar swing from Rodio. Eight bar vocal blues ballad, Please Accept My Love has a solid feel of the 50's and is it well anchored by Foreman, Ariyo and Davis. On T-Bone Walker styled I Win Some More, Rodio really nails the guitar to the wall with his guitar intro. Lurrie Bell has the lead vocal on this track and really takes it home. He shares guitar solo's with Rodio thru out the track making it the overall best track on the release. Excellent! Otis Blackwell's One Broken Heart For Sale has the early rock/R&B feel with Foreman taking a nice ride on the organ. How Much Can A Poor Man Take digs deep into the rural blues. This is the closest thing to early John Lee Hooker I have heard done on a modern record (Sounds more like Hooker than Hooker on his last albums). This raw blues with Hooker riffs and feeling. Love it! Closing the release is Bernice Carter's Evil Hearted Woman. This is another spectacular track delivered T-Bone Walker style. Ariyo dances the keys over the melody like Otis Spann and Rodio does likewise with his guitar. When he does break for a solo, the track blossoms. This is an absolutely excellent old style blues release and one that demands immediate attention!

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