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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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Friday, October 21, 2016

Malaco Records artist: Grady Champion - One Of A Kind - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, One Of A Kind, from Grady Champion, and it has variety. Opening with Bump and Grind, Grady Champion on lead vocal and harp along with Ken Smith on bass, Eddie Cotton on guitar and Carroll McLaughlin on keys set an early groove, not unlike a more polished Jesus Just Left Chicago. Nice opener. With a R&B feel, Heels and Hips floats along with a really cool bass line by Smith and nice backing vocals by Champion, Jewell Bass, Eddie Cotton and Lisa Palmer. Shuffle track, House Party, gets deeper in the groove with the addition of Kimble Funchess on trumpet, Jessie PrimerIII on sax, Sydney Ford II on bari, Robert Lamkin on trombone and champion's harp backed by nice vocals by Bass and Palmer. On Life Support, Champion really gets the band swinging on harp and some of his best vocals on the release. Myron Bennett's bass work is tight and vital giving this track just the right weight. Classic, Chicago style blues track, Leave Here Running, features Theodis Ealey on guitar and Champion really opens up his harp for a super run. Ealey throws down a cool solo of his own giving this track even more spirit. Another R&B track, Move Something, has a real nice feel, pumped by the bass work of Smith and the Jackson Horns. Soul tune, One Of A Kind, is one of my favorite tracks on the release with just the right amount of warmth, a nice sax solo by Primer, guitar solo by Ealey and most soulful vocals by Champion backed by super horns and backing vocalists. Stone In My Path has an Albert King kind of feel with Champion's gravely vocals balanced against his harp punctuation over nicely executed piano work by McLaughlin. Thin Line has a rolling bass line edged along by cool backing vocals. Champion's lead vocals and harp capper gives the track a real nice feel. What A Woman has a bit of a Willie Dixon lumber with vocals along the lines of the Wolf. Mr. Elvin Bishop adds slide guitar to the track giving it that extra bit of texture. More contemporary track, When I'm Gone has a cool funky edge, with nice backing vocals from Bass and Palmer. Clean piano work by McLaughlin stands out on this track bumped along by Scott's drum work. Wrapping the release is GC Boogie, a slick instrumental featuring Champion playing harp riffs and Cotton playing guitar riffs over a plucky bass line by Bennett and McLaughlin riding on organ. Cool closer.

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