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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, April 20, 2016

Little Lightning Productions artist: Shari Puorto - My Obsession - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, My Obsession, from Shari Puorto and she's still slamming it. Opening with funky rocker, It's A Damn Shame, Puorto's vocals are tight and her phrasing is super. Johnny Hawthorn knows how to make it hot on guitar and Bob Glaub's bass lines are smokin. Backed by Kenna Ramsey, Julie Delgado and Mike Finnigan, this is my favorite track on the release. On Home of the Blues, Jimmy Vivino and Steve Fister step up on lead and slide guitar (respectively) and Mike Finnigan's B3 work is super. Rock and roller, Six Months Sober is square down the middle with Jim Pugh's piano and B3 and slide soloing by Hawthorn is smooth. Sugar Daddy is a slower sure stepper with a drone bass line and slap snare from Tony Braunagel. Title track, My Obsession, opens with a subdued niteclub feel but kicking into a solid rocker with Vivino and Finnigan trading lead riffs under Puorto's cool vocals. Old Silo Road is a quiet ballad, primarily the purity of Puorto's voice and Finnigan's piano. Johnny Lee Schell's tasty slide riffs add a real nice touch to this solid radio track. Workin' The Room has a definite country feel with a two step rhythm and nicely executed piano work from Barry Goldberg. Schell again steps up with a cool guitar solo making this another track that could easily hit multiple radio lines. Better Left Unsaid has a R&B styling with cool backing vocals from Ramsey, Delgado and Finnigan. Schell's rhythm guitar work and Finnigan's piano work give this track a lot of textural traction. With a New Orleans feel, What's The Matter With The World, has a real nice rhythm and Schell's slide work is spot on the mark. Finnigan gives the track a nice boot of his own with nicely stylized piano work. Very cool! Steve Fister adds his own guitar zip to All About You, a serious ballad with Schell joining on rhythm guitar. The interweaving guitar styles, coupled with Puorto's vocals make this another serious radio track. Turned To Stone has a real "Jackson Browne" feel with Johnny Hawthorn playing some excellent David Lindley style pedal steel lead throughout. Goes without saying that this track, with a cool melodic hook and slick pedal work, could really hit big. Wrapping the release is the soul classic, When A Man Loves A Woman. Finnigan on B3, Pugh on piano and with Darrell Leonard and Joe Sublett on horns, gives this track a rich clarity and Vivino's clean guitar work, coupled with Puorto's power makes this a perfect track to close it up.
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