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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, October 5, 2015

Stony Plain Records artists: Monkey Junk - Moon Turn Red - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Moon Turn Red, from Monkey Junk and it's quite good! Opening with Light It Up, lead guitarist Tony D dusts the slide and they're off to the races behind Steve Marriner on lead vocal and harp backed by Tony and drummer Matt Sobb. This is a swift track with slippery slide and rolling harp riffs... a super opener. Driving blues rocker, You, has a really nice guitar vamp (think Whiskey Train) and Marriner sounds quite a bit like Paul Rogers with cool vocal backing and again solid harp work. Very nice! Show Me Yours is a solid rocker but with a taste of Tone Loc with Marriner's smooth vocals and warm keyboard work. David Wilcox's rocker Hot Hot Papa features Wilcox on vocal and guitar and the track has a real ZZ Top like swagger. Stinging guitar soloing and a driving beat make this one of the total standouts on the track. Love Attack has a definite reggae feel and sets a terrific groove. Breaking from the traditional rhythm on the chorus the band adds a more commercial sound but when it returns it hits hard. I really like this track, it's Louisiana feel on percussion, and the intelligent guitar playing from Tony. Live Another Day has a whole different spin with a Uriah Heep kind of feel. One of my least favorite tracks on the release, it still is interesting and well performed. Marriner lays down a solid and progressive harp solo and Tony rips a pretty nice guitar solo of his own. Learn How To Love is a really cool track with excellent guitar effects. It's really a simple ballad but the melody, vocal blending and precise instrumentation is captivating. Lucky One is really Matt Sobb's track to lead with it's hot drum work. Marriner of course is on top with his excellent vocals and Tony D is driving on guitar but it's the beat that makes this track float. Travelin' Light is a straight up rocker with radio styling. A solid melody and a clever rhythm give this track wheels and Tony slides into home on guitar with speed and accuracy. Meet Me At Midnight has a cool R&B feel with a light funk. Nicely blended vocal harmonies and slick guitar work bring this track if for a solid closer.

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