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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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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ELROB Records artist: Zora Young & Little Mike and the Tornadoes - Friday Night - New Release review

I just received the newest release, Friday Night, from Zora Young & Little Mike and the Tornadoes and it's got texture! Opening with the dynamic, I've Been A Fool Too Long, Tony O Melio gets a great guitar groove going. With Jim McKaba on organ and piano, Robert Piazza on drums and Brad Vickers, Zora leads the way on vocals for a real nice shuffle track. Slowing down a bit R&B track, A Fool's Lament is really designed to showcase Young's vocals. With Little Mike Marknwitz adding some key harp work and Rick Johnson on sax and Gary Smith on trumpet, this track drips soul. Howlin' Wolf's 44 Blues is up next with strong piano work from McKaba. With strong a Chicago feel, this track is perfect for Young's voice, complimented nicely by Mike on harp and McKaba on piano. Easy swinging, True Love Is Hard To Find, plays the horns nicely against Young's perfect vocal phrasing. McKaba takes a real nice piano solo on this track as does O Melio. Very nice! Excellent blues track, I Love Chicago, has just that right feel with Vickers and Piazza setting the pace. McKaba lays down another super piano solo leading the way for Little Mike. Melio sets up some really hot guitar riffs of his own making this a well balanced track. With some funky rock in the air, title track, Friday Night hits the ground running. Little Mike gets a real nice opportunity to play some of the tastiest riffs on the release, with Johnson and Smith keeping it moving. McKaba jazzes up the piano a bit and Melio sets the closer. Piano Man Walls' track, Chains Of Love, maintains it's traditional arrangement with Young delivering a deep blues feel. Melio, McKaba and Little Mike each get a swat at the wall, and each hits it deep. Very nice! Little Walter's Just Your Fool and it's shuffle pace gives the release the just right boost to get it rolling. Little Mike and McKaba stretch a bit making this a real nice harp jam. Otis Spann's Country Girl has a nice easy blues saunter. Being a Spann track, McKaba has a ready made spot to show his stuff. Melio hits a particularly nice stretch of guitar on this track giving extra spice. It's the bass of Vickers that sets the pace on I'm Good punched by Johnson and Smith. Young leads on vocal giving way to McKaba and a real nice piano solo and ultimately Little Mike who cleans the bases. Very nice! Wrapping the release is Spann's Boogie (Otis Spann) and McKaba is off the hook! Excellent closer for this well done release.

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