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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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Thursday, August 18, 2016

VizzTone artists: Katy Guillen & The Girls - Heavy Days - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review Heavy Days, the latest release from Katy Guillen & The Girls and I really like it. Opening with Driving To Wake Up, Katy Guillen & The Girls let you know right up front that they mean business. Guillen on lead vocal and guitar is joined by Claire Adams on bass and vocal and Stephanie Williams on drums producing an authoritative rock sound with edge. Guillen's vocals may be similar to Chrissie Hynde with healthy attitude but with more clarity and blending with the vocals of Adams, a new fresh sound. A stripped down 3 piece sound is all you need and these ladies show that big time. Guillen is also no wall flower when it comes to guitar attitude laying it out there pretty nicely. Heavy Days has an essential blues rock sound and raw energy but with just the right amount of melodic backing harmony to pull you in. These girls are putting on the heat and Williams kicks ass on drums... and that adds real weight as they swing from sweet vocals to heavy axe wielding. Absolutely excellent! Waking Up From You shows a more pop side with really smoothly crafted melody and instrumentation. This track could see solid radio play across genres with J. Santiago like guitar work. Don't Need Anyone is a solid rocker with straight forward beat and aggressive guitar soloing. Very nice. The Load has really nice bass lines by Adams under rhythm and vocals by Guillen. With it's more indie sound, it still has solid rock framework and excellent drum work leading to some less structured guitar work. Very interesting. Humbucker is a real nice blues rocker with standout lead vocals and a solid guitar riff. I am really blown away by how tight this band is and how powerful the rhythm section is. Really solid! Ballad, Cold Was The Night, is a brilliant showcase of Guillen's voice with traces of Amy Winehouse ... I mean seriously? This girl can really sing and her guitar playing is powerful... the entire band is. Mike "Shinetop" Sedovic adds some really nice key work on this track making this already super track even fatter. I mean, check out the rich guitar soloing on this one... think torment...think Big Brother. Excellent! Hot rocker, Can't Live Here Anymore, has a definite power pop feel with plenty of kick and solid rock. Big Joe Williams' Baby Please Don't Go has a sultry edge that I've never heard on any of the previous covers. Guillen really knows how to bring it and Guillen's original guitar vamp is perfect to frame her vocals. Raw and explosive this track is hot! This is a perfect example of how the blues continues to be vibrant in contemporary rock music. Love it! Wrapping the release is Pulling Up From The Grooves, a really sweet track, again based solidly on the strength of Guillen's beautiful voice and very complimentary backing by Adams. Adams' bass work, with light guitar rhythm, Ryan Heinlein's contributions on trombone and the ever sensitive drum work by Williams makes this an extremely memorable closer for a fine release. A definite keeper!

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