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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, December 20, 2016

SSR Freeroll Records artist: Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns - Back To The Shack - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Back To The Shack, from Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns and it's solid fun! Opening with Standin' Before The King, Mark Campbell on lead vocal and Melanie Taylor harmonizing lay out a solid rocker with nice piano work by Mike Finnigan, hot bluesy guitar riffs by Andrew Kastner and solid horn work by Les Lovitt on trumpet, Bill Bergman on sax and Lee Thornburg on trumpet and trombone. Cocky, Somethin' In The Water has strong bottom with Tony Braunagel on drums and Bruce Atkinson on bass. Vocal lead by Campbell with backing by Niki J. Crawford, Kathy Merrick and Melanie Taylor works really nicely with Kastner's guitar riffs and the solid backing of the HA Horns. A brassy intro on Don't Let Her Go leads to a smooth radio track. Never Too Late is a nice bluesy shuffle with a balance of guitar riffs and horn punch. It takes a powerful singer to lead this group of guys with intense guitar riffs and powerful horn riffs and Campbell is a great man for the job. With spiritual intensity Campbell's soulful vocal lead with backing vocals from Les Falconer, Atkinson and Finnigan give this track real guts. Serves Me Right is a cool hi steppin' R&B track with a solid hook and a great highlight for Campbell's vocals. Bad Habit is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a smoking James Brown drum riff by Braunagel. Thornburg and Lovitt punch the top hard and Atkinson's bass work really moves under super soulful vocals by Campbell and Bergman's bari sax work. Excellent! Soul track, Change My Ways, is really nice and plays nicely into Campbell's vocal pocket. With a smart brass fanfare and warm backing vocals, puts you in mind of Jimmy Cliff's Many Rivers. With a soulful sax solo by Bergman, this track soars. Very nice! Bergman smokes a real nice sax intro on ballad, Ain't No Way. With orchestral balance on the horns and choral backing by the backing vocalists, Campbell, again shows just what a powerful singer. Very nice. Wrapping the release is the rock spiritual fused, Let Me In. With a chugging rhythm and spotless piano work by Finnigan, this track is a mover with brassy horns and gospel like backing vocals. This is an excellent closer for a really cool release.

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