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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, December 3, 2015

Out Of The Past Music - Steve Howell & The Mighty Men - Friend Like Me - New Release review

I just received the newest release, Friend Like Me, from Steve Howell & The Mighty Men and it's got style! Opening with Baby Face Thomas' Another Friend Like Me with it's boogie woogie rhythm line. Howell on vocal and guitar leads the way with Chris Michaels on electric guitar, Dave Hoffpauir on drums and Jason Weinheimer on bass. The walking bass line of Jason and fluid guitar lines of Chris make for an interesting trip. Bukka White's Aberdeen, Mississippi Blues is up next with a snappy country flare. I really like the loose guitar soloing technique on this track giving it a raw flavor. Charley Patton's Elder Green Is Gone has a cool R&B flavor with raw country guitar riffs. This music has an unusual JJ Cale kind of vibe...laid back but pointed. Very cool! Reverend Gary Davis' Oh, Lord, Search My Soul has a casual shuffle feel. With a droning guitar rhythm and easy set lyrics the track lulls you back. Little Sadie is one of my favorite tracks on the release with it's traditional western (cowboy) feel. Josh Thomas' Roustabout has a primitive sound played on gut-string gourd banjo with sonic electric guitar backing. This track maintains a simple blues base with experimental echo electric guitar work. I really like the pairing! Nelson Harmon's This Old Hammer is the most commercial track so far with melodic electric guitar work over finger picked acoustic work. Very clean. Noah Lewis' Viola Lee Blues comes from Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers but was a popular jam by the Grateful Dead. This track has an almost Creedence Clearwater guitar feel (think Suzie Q)with it's fat sound. I really like this track! John Phillips' Me and My Uncle has been done by may of the 70's bands including Phillips' own Mamas and Papas, Joni Mitchell and the Dead. Again with a cowboy western feel, this track has a simple beauty. Elongated guitar work on this track is also to be noted with the looseness of Neil Young. Wrapping the release is Mark Barkan's Pretty Flamingo, a hit by Manfred Mann and covered by Gene Pitney and the Everly Brothers. This track has a very strong melody and a certain solid closer for a unique release.

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