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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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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Nevermore Records artist: Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin' Altar Boys - Live @ The Big Bull - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Live at The Big Bull, by Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin' Altar Boys and it's terrific! Opening with R&B style formal opening track, Hot and Heavy, Reverend Raven is crankin' with PT Pedersen on bass, Robert Lee Sellers Jr. on drums and Danny Moore on keys. Raven is screaming on guitar and Westside Andy Linderman blows it out hot on harp. Excellent opener! Shuffle track, Walking To Chicago, is up next and Raven leading the way on vocals and lead guitar. His vocals are electrifying, complimented nicely by Linderman who again does a super job on harp and Moore who's piano work is crisp. Extended lead guitar work by Raven riding on organ by Moore makes this track a terrific track. Two stepping, You Didn't Even Say Goodbye, settles into the groove with a bit more vocal and composure. Moore rides the keys nicely followed by Linderman on harp and Raven on guitar. This band settles down near top speed of most bands. Very nice! Hawaiian Boogie #3 is a super boogie with a lot of Hound Dog Taylor feel. Raven is hip on slide and with just a taste of Hawaiian sound blended in, this is a rip roarin', rockin boogie! Moore's piano work is excellent and you all know good piano boogie. Benny Rickun holds the crowd in the palm of his hands with his hot harp work and leads to a sliding finale. Wow! Giving a classic, Diving Duck Blues, a R&B feel with slide, Booker T style organ, hot harp and guitar and a snappy bottom is a super combo to keep this concert rolling high. Elmore James style, Stomping and Shouting, really showcases Raven's slide work and Rickun's and Moore more than pull their weight. Very nice! On classic Morganfield track, She's Nineteen Years Old, the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys (love that name) really settle down in a deep blues groove. Linderman really hits the harp hard with excellent results and Sellers Jr. takes the mic on lead vocal. With well crafted piano inserts throughout and a beautiful solo, Moore is worth his weight in gold. Possibly my favorite track on the release, this band is hot! On funky, Chicken Heads, Rickun is back on harp sharing much of the floor with Moore on organ. Big Al Groth steps up with a monster funky sax solo closing the track. Chicago style, My Life, features Linderman on harp and Moore on keys. This is a really tight band and keeping this kind of cohesion in a live environment is super. Wrapping the release is blues rocker with a light Latin flavor on Looking For Love. Rickun responds on harp to Ravens vocals and Moore lays out a monster piano solo. I really like Pedersen's bass work on this track giving the track extra oomph. With some of his best harp work on the release, Rickum blows it up and Raven closes the door with nicely crafted guitar riffs traded with Moore. This is an excellent live release and one that you should check out today!

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