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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, March 15, 2016

Mr. Rick - Mr. Rick Sings About God + Booze - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Mr. Rick Sings About God + Booze, from Mr. Rick and it's quite entertaining. Opening with One Kind Of Favor, an adaptation of Blind Lemon Jefferson's See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, has a hillbilly jazz feel with a hot beat. Lead acoustic guitar and vocal by Rick, Alec Fraser on bass, Drew Jurecka on fiddle and Ted Hawkins on drums show this track with a real spark. On It's The Bottle Talking, Ricks solid vocals lead the way with cool fiddle riffs by Jurecka and light percussion by Hawkins. Blind Willie Johnson's You'll Need Someone on Your Bond gets a real cool boogie take with slick guitar riffs from Steve Briggs, Tyler "Uncle Junior" Thompson on bass and cool backing vocals by the Ted Hawkins singers. Traditional hymn, I'll Fly Away, gets a Piedmont style and Mr. Rick keeps it simple and clean, joined by "Blues Doctor" Julie Hill. Very nice! Sister Rosetta Thorpe's Two Little Fishes retains the blues solidity but with a definite Louisiana taste with real nice clarinet work by Jono Lightstone and warn deep backing vocals by the Ted Hawkins singers. Excellent! Sleep John Estes' Liquor Store Blues is up next with a rural country feel but warm vlcals and a cool rock a billy guitar riffs by Briggs and fiddle solo by Jurecka. Very nice! Another spiritual track, Hush, gets a really cool, traditional uptempo country rework with a shuffle drum rhythm, and fun country guitar riffs. This is almost Porter Wagoner or Bob Wills territory...yes. Very cool! Mississippi Fred McDowell's Death Come In My Room has a real eerie country/blues feel with mando-guitar by Rick and the simplest of drums with fiddle by Jurecka. Classic track doe with a nice twist. Very cool! Champagne Don't Drive Me Crazy, a rework of Taj Mahal's Ain't Nobody's Business is real nice with clean Piedmont picking and fiddle work. Rick really knows how to work these tracks and with his arrangements, vocals and rhythm, really presents this material as fresh. I Know I've Been Changed is a hot track. I think it was penned by LaShun Pace but this track really sounds like the work of Gary Davis. This is probably my favorite track on the release with a terrific arrangement, super backing vocals, cool guitar riffs and wailing clarinet by Jono Lightstone. Excellent! Ernest Tubbs' Drivin' Nails In My Coffin is up next and retains a bunch of it's classic country swing honesty. Rick and the Hawkins Singers do an excellent job on this track and Rick's guitar work is clean and tight. Don't Put My Bourbon Down is a super country swing track with a great hook and clever lyrics with a real nice bass solo by Uncle Junior. Very cool! Wrapping the release is Sister Rosetta Thorpe's, Beams of Heaven, with an almost Elvis arrangement. Warm, 50's style rock ballad with an almost Hawaiian twist seems a perfect closer to this really surprising delight of a release. You really owe it to yourself to check this out!

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