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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, July 10, 2015

Silver Talon Records artist: Blinddog Smokin' - High Steppin' - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (July 17, 2015), High Steppin', from Blinddog Smokin' and it is funnnkkky! Opening with a real high stepper, Pimp Shoes, vocalist Carl Gustafson lays down one vocal riff after another with Roland Pritzker driving the bass, Mo Beeks riding the keys and Chicago Chuck Gullens keeping it tight on drums. Backing vocals from Linda Gustafson, Chris White and Chicago keep it real and really hot guitar soloing from Chalo Ortiz and sax work from Rex Amend blow the top off! Bayou Lady is swampier and sticky funky with a definite voodoo sound. I really like Carls vocals on this track and bursts of guitar by Ortiz are hotter than lightning! Don't Put No Money On Me is a cool track with a cool falling down the stairs rhythm style and a story telling style of vocals. This is a gritty track and I really like it. I Caught Her Lyin' has a easier country blues sound with cool story telling with dynamics by Beeks on keys and Matt Rhody on violin. Tell "Em Shuffle is a cool Chicago style blues track led off by Billy Branch on harp. A simple blues number with cool organ work by Beeks and Branch taking control on harp, it's one of the swinginest track on the release. Slow soulful blues track, If I Died Today, really shows the richness of Gustafson's voice complimented by Branch on harp and with soft background vocals. Probably my favorite track on the release. Big Behind is a clever country comedy style track. This track has a a group vocal part but not like in harmony. More just togetherness. The track has a country format with Tommy Broderick on steel guitar and could easily make a strong cross airways appeal with it's clever lyrics and catchy melody. Lady's Playin' returns to the funk with some poppy funky bass work by Pritzker. Vocal mostly done in a soft rap style, and with a George Clinton like backing delivers with Eric Bernhardt on sax, Travis Blotsky on bari sax, Mike Fulton on trumpet and David Phy on trombone. Fun! Wrapping the release is a gospel style redo of Tell 'Em (Reprise). Beeks really has the gospel styling down on organ and the vocals are rich. Nice closer.

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