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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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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats - The Avenue - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, The Avenue, from Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats and it's raw and fun. Opening with a Bo Diddley style track, The Vivone Song (pronounced Viv O Nee), a musical chant with heavy tom tom rhythm and thick warm lower octave guitar melody on vibrato, a cool opener. Jim Jackson's, Kansas City Blues, is a rumbler with Vivone on wild slide guitar and lead vocal, Matt Bustamante on drums, Rick Maclvor on piano and Jeremy Clark on bass, topped off by Joanna Berkebile, Ben Hoppes and Paula Crawford on backing vocal. A solid boogie woogie and absolutely camaraderie among the band makes this a great track. Title track, The Avenue, tells the story of the gritty part of town where the dirt goes down. With the band in common vocal style and with very cool vibrato glistened guitar work, this track shimmers. Very nice. Hello Mrs Radzinsky is a driving boogie with a great walking bass line complimented nicely by MacIver on keys and featuring Vivone on slide. Ray and tasty! Train Musta Jumped The Tracks is a really cool track with a north Mississippi feel (to me). It's a loose blues with rag tag slide work and tightly organized vocals. Very cool! Calendar is an easy paced blues with thick slide work framing the seedy calendars known to grace men's garages and offices. With it's deliberate bass line, slashing slide and backing vocals, this is certainly a crowd pleaser. My Heart Is In The Right Place is a cool rocker with a bit of funk and jazz. A hard line is set down by Clark and Bustamante giving a nice platform for soloing by Vivone and MacIver. His Honor, The Mayor is a super closer with reverb saturated guitar work only in a perfectly clean environment. I solemn introspective track, this track hits dead on. Excellent! 

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