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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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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Smoke Wagon Blues Band - Cigar Store - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Cigar Store, by The Smoke Wagon Blues Band and got a bit of everything. Opening with Walking Cane, a funky blues rocker, Corey Lueck has the lead on vocal and Jason Colavecchia on bass and Tibor Lukacs add the hot bottom. Nick Succi brings it on piano and Gordon Aeichele lays down a cool sax solo. Must've Read It Wrong is a driving blues rocker with a solid bass line by Colavecchia. Succi and Aeichele each lay in nice solos and Mike Stubbs' on guitar and Lueck on harp add the dressing. On R&B style track, I Tried, Stubbs lays in a nice intro and Aeichele plays warm sax lines complimenting Lueck's soulful lead vocals. Hoodoo Woman has a real interesting contemporary blues sound, stripped down and basic. With cool raspy vocals and a simple melody line and guitar riff, reinforced by Lueck's harp work. Put The Quilt Out To Dry has a cool percussive feel over a basic, Sonny Boy Williamson feel. With it's dual rhythms, it really digs in, making it one of my favorites on the release. Rock n' roller, Directly Under Her Thumb, has a cool boogie rhythm dressed perfectly by Succi's piano work and the walking bass line of Colavecchia. Stubbs stretches out a little on guitar and Aeichele's sax work is cool. Title track, Cigar Store has a cool walking bass line and with a taste of New Orleans, has a cool horn solo, slide solo and of course boogie piano. Lueck's intro on resonator on White Mule is way cool. The track reminds me quite a bit of Neil Young's Are You Ready For The Country but with an Allman Brother's guitar riff. Interesting. King Biscuit Boy's Mean Old Lady has a cool hi stepping feel with nice slide work by Lueck, a prominent bass line and a real nice piano solo by Succi. Following a smooth R&B hit format, I Can't Change is the most certain radio track on the release with sure footed lead vocals by Lueck and a soulful sax solo by Aeichele. Steve Sherman's organ opener on Quarter Mile really sets the pace for a rolling rocker with a driving drum beat by Lukacs and Stubbs slide work nicely pushing Lueck's lead vocals. Aeichele's aggressive sax solo really gives the track pop and Lueck hit's it hard on harp giving this track real starch. Wrapping the release is a casual, rag style track, You've Been a Good Old Wagon. It has just the right feel with sassy New Orleans style sax work, piano and harp... it's a great closer for a solid release by Smoke Wagon.
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