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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, December 15, 2016

Cleopatra Records artist: James Montgomery - The James Montgomery Blues Band - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The James Montgomery Blues Band, from James Montgomery and it's a cranking homage to Paul Butterfield. Opening with funky rocker, One More Heartache, Montgomery blows the doors open with his always powerful harp, backed by George McCann on guitar, David Hull on bass and Jeff Thompson on drums and punched up by the Uptown Horns including Crispin Cloe on sax, Larry Etkin on trumpet, Arno Hecht on sax and Bob Funk on trombone. Super opener. Nick Gravenites' Born In Chicago gets a bit more bounce that Nick's original and McCann sports a real nice guitar solo opening the way for Montgomery's harp solo. Very cool. Little Walter's Blues With A Feeling is solid and Montgomery's vocals are raw and gritty. I particularly like the tight guitar work by McCann on this track giving it a casual pace along with stinging riffs. Young Woman's Love just has that snap making it sit solid on your foot. McCann is featured on lead vocal and Montgomery really digs in with fat, well formed harp riffs making this one of my favorites on the release. Sure to be the release favorite, I Got A Mind To Give Up Living, features Jimmy Vivino on lead guitar and he really pours it on. Montgomery's harp work is relentless and his vocals soulful. Excellent! On Elmore James' Shake Your Moneymaker, McCann slips on the slide and the band is loosely tight like Hound Dog Taylor giving this track real life. Good Question is a jazz born R&B track that really sings. Grace Kelly sets up a real nice sax solo and Montgomery rides high on the rhythmic drum work of Thompson and a moving bass line by Hull. McCann cuts loose with a real nice solo of his own and the band circles back for a final refrain. Very cool. With it's walking bass line, One Plus One absolutely struts. Closing the release is Junior Parker's Mystery Train. Cooked in full JL Hooker, boogie style, Montgomery works the band into a real lather for this sensational closer.

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