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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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Monday, May 13, 2019

Ruf Records artist: The BB King Blues Band - The Soul Of The King - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Soul of the King, from The BB King Blues Band and the title hits the nail on the head. Opening with Irene Irene, Russell Jackson has the mic and Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays scorching hot guitar riffs making this an excellent opener. The hear of the band is James Boogaloo Bolden on trumpet, Eric Demmer on lead sax, Jackson on bass, Walter King on sax, Herman Jackson on drums, Darrell Lavigne on keys, Lamar Boulet on trumpet, Wilburt Crosby on guitar, Brandon Jackson on drums, and Raymond Harris on trombone. Kenny Neal is up next on Sweet Little Angel covering both lead guitar and vocal. His playing is more mellow but no less soulful as he gets a good grip on the track in BB King style. Diunna Greenleaf's supreme vocal styling is There Must Be A Better World Somewhere and Demmer literally blows the doors off with his sensational sax soloing. Excellent! Solid soul on She's The One with Demmer on lead vocal and sax. The man is hot and his sax screams... check it out! Funky, Taking Care of Business has Jackson back on lead vocal backed by Bolden and Richardson. Crosby and Demmer trade rich solos giving this track real tension over the punchy horn work. Very nice. Regal Blues (A Tribute To The King) features Joe Louis Walker on lead vocal and guitar. With a solid shuffle rhythm Walker gets the band rockin' … you can almost see BB King's softly clenched fist clapping into his extended open palm. Bolden has the lead on Pocket Full Of Money, with a nice groove. Jackson's bass line sets the tone and Lamar Boulet blows a great trumpet solo. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Michael Lee on lead guitar and vocal on BB King's classic, The Thrill Is Gone. A soulful but bouncier track than typical of King, an excellent closer for a solid release. 

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