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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, March 2, 2016

Power Waggin' Records artist: Riff Riders - Hit The Road - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Hit The Road from Riff Riders and it's lively. Opening with title track, Hit The Road, Amy "Shally" Shallenberger leads the way of this rockin band on lead vocals joined by Sean Seth on guitars, Otis James on Harp, Tony La Paglia on bass and Joe Caprara on drums. A bright a energetic track it sets a strong pace. Bounce Back has a strong back beat and a cool, funky guitar riff and heavy bass lines. Pop rock (Pat Benetar) style lead vocals give the track a bit of sting and Seth is right there to punch it on guitar. Back Door Kenny has a great boogie groove thanks to La Paglia on bass and Seth keeps the guitar riffs rolling with some real nice trem bends and almost jazzy rock lead. Very cool! Cut Me Down (12.5 Bar Blues) digs down is slow blues land with a solid bass line by La Paglia and Shally gets the best opportunity to show her vocal chops. James takes a nice solo on harp and then Seth steps up with a nice punctuation of his own. Very nice! Rumors has a real swampy feel but with a northern polish. It's the drums by Caprara that really hit me on this track. Shally's vocals are solid and Seth sends out some ungodly sounds really giving the track a cool vibe... overall one of my favorite tracks on the release. Open Door has a slick guitar riff to open it and with a light funk Seth lays it out real nice on this track. Trouble has a number of cool things going on at once with a a nice groove and Shally's seductive lead. Seth rides the light distortion on rhythm and James leads the way into a full blown guitar ride by Seth with a jazz swing. Very nice! My '65 is a cool rocker that opens with the sound of a motorcycle could it be better...louder! Just kidding! With a basic 12 bar format and some cool vibrato, this track rocks. Rollin' opens with a radical slide guitar riff. Keeping this track simple with slide, solid vocals and a big kick drum as it transitions into a semi country shit kicker makes it a strong contender for release best. Leave Me Alone has a little bit of a boogie to it with a compact rhythm guitar riff and snappy drum kit. Shally is up front with circling harp work by James. Rich Song has a real nice harp intro and a "Season of the Witch" San Francisco feel. This is kicked back and throaty with crisp guitar work. Nice! Wrapping the release is rock 'n' roller, Stuck On You, with a real flare. The band gets a nice groove going here with solos from Seth and James showing a spunky finish.

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