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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, August 3, 2015

Slackjaw - It's Always Something - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, It's Always Something, from Slackjaw and it a cool mix of blues rock styles making up a real nice set. Opening with Carried By Six, a loping, "Texas style", shuffle. John Thompson leads the way on vocal and guitar, slashing his way, backed by Carl Capodice on bass and Randy Marinelli on drums. Commit A Crime is a pop/funk/blues rocker with a cool groove. Capodice walks the bass and Thompson lays out some nice riffs over the top of his solid vocals. Driving blues rocker and title track, It's Always Something, is a cross between Golden Earring and Mahogany Rush resulting in a smokin rocker with hot riffs. Backing down to a more mainstream blues rocker, New Addiction has all of the components of a solid radio player with a catchy melody and a super bass solo from Capodice. The absolute standout track on the release for me is Don't Give Me No Jive, a slow, low down blues grabber. Thompson's vocals work really nicely with the texture of the track and he really puts the heat to the frets grinding out some really smoking riffs. Double stopped bends push the tension and heavy bass lines give nice contrast to Thompson's most subtly articulated lines. Excellent! With the drive of of a heavy rocker but the finesse of a southern rocker, Slackjaw delivers on Whiskey Lane and Thompson lays in just the right amount of overdrive to make it all work. Soul's Up For Sale is another track with quite a bit of commercial appeal. "Outlaws like" guitar riffs from Thompson's guitar, under laid by solid work from Capodice and Marinelli give this track broad appeal. Soul blended in to a rock format on If You Ever Leave gives this track a real nice flow. Sweet melody and pulled back fireworks makes this a crowd favorite. Cold Day In Hell takes on a modern punky funk a la the Chilli Peppers but without losing it's identity. Hot bass lines are up front of the mix and Thompson's are almost Peter Green like (Oh Well). Cool rocker! Bottle Of Whiskey is a light hearted country flavored rocker. With only the smallest amount of percussion, a nice walking bass line and Thompson on guitar and vocal this is a crap kicking conclusion to a smart guitar laden outing.

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