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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, August 16, 2016

Cleopatra Records artist: Kenny Neal - Bloodline - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Bloodline, from Kenny Neal and it has strong blues and R&B roots. Opening with country blues influenced, Ain't Gon Let The Blues Die with it's Elvin Bishop/country flavored gospel flavor. This track is off and running with Kenny Neal on slide guitar and lead vocals, Tom Hambridge on drums, Tommy Macdonald on bass and Syreeta, Tyrell, Jazzy, Brine', Kaydence Bates, Tahj Mosby and Darien Neal as well as the McCrary sisters. Title track, Bloodline, has a deep groove with a funky bottom and Kenny on lead vocal and harp. Cool loping Plain Old Common Sense is one of my favorite tracks on the release with great guitar work, supeer vocal phrasing, nice piano lines and strong horn backing from Quentin Ware on trumpet, Billy Huber on trombone, Tyler Summers on sax and Dana Robbins on sax. Very cool. On Willie Nelson's Funny How Time Slips Away, skillful piano work and crafty vocals give this track the weight of a serious R&B/country ballad. Coming out with horns blazing, Keep On Moving, has a funky R&B feel and the electric key work of Lucky Peterson is a perfect setting for strong soloing by Kenny. With tight horn work by Ware, Huber, Summers and Robbins. With it's BB King style phrasing, I Go By Feel, is a real cool track along the lines of The Thrill Is Gone with soulful vocals by Kenny and nice horn work by Ware, Huber, Summers and Robbins. Kenny takes a relaxing guitar solo that has really nice grip. R&B style, I'm So Happy, is really a super horn track with prime radio vocals by Kenny and crew. Blues Mobile is an uptempo shuffle with Kenny leading the way on harp. Kevin McKendree on piano and Ware, Huber, Summers and Robbins on horns give this track a bright feel and Kenny's vocals are super. With a much more acoustic feel, I Can't Wait, has Kenny way upfront on vocal and harp with Steve Dawson on Weissonborn, Bob Britt on guitar, John Lancaster on keys and Hambridge on percussion. Really digging in on an R&B feel, Real Friend, has a super Wilson Pickett kind of feel with Kenny on vocal, Ware, Huber, Summers and Robbins on horns. Ware takes a smooth trumpet solo followed by a soulful sax solo that really sits nicely. Neal's own guitar solo is tight and warm giving the track a cool Memphis feel. Wrapping the release is Thank You BB King, a track that could be right out of BB's song book with BB vocal and guitar phrasing styles. Kenny of course puts his own spin on the guitar work making and with Peterson on organ, this a super wrapper for a cool release.

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