Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hittin' The Note Records artist: Wet Willie - Miles Of Smiles - New Release Review

I've been listening to the new Wet Willie recording, Miles of Smiles, for the past few days. It's a great album and a live recording capturing the band in concert in Woodstock, Georgia on August 13, 2011 (my fathers birthday). The first track, One Track Mind, comes out screaming and kicking and you are out of your chair moving within seconds! She Caught The Katy, one of my favorite Taj Mahal songs, is next up and the groove is great. Jimmy Hall, always present on harp blows a cool solo and keyman Bobby Mobley gets his turn as well. They keep the Taj groove but with a little extra spunk and a lot of Wet Willie. Street Corner Serenade with it's R&B sound is always perfect for this band with their Halls terrific vocals and complimentary backing vocals and of course Hall on sax. Rock Steady is a southern blues rock/ R&B song ... say Ike and Tina with a New Orleans twist.... just great! Lonely is a traditional soul ballad and of course a great song to highlight Halls superior vocal talents. It does escalate as it matures and really builds great emotion. Country Side Of Life has a real funky flavor and that country funk that Elvin Bishop does so well...need I say this song is great! The funky beat and superior use of vocals as instruments is very strong! Easy Street really kicks with the famous James Brown guitar rhythm track behind it... and Hall's voice is every bit as strong as it has ever been. There is a particularly sweet sax solo on this track and I love Halls sound! Rendezvous With The Blues gives the guitars, Rickey Cheney and Ric Seymour a chance to stretch out a bit and Hall again on sax and harp. Too Tall To Mambo is straight out of New Orleans with it's marching beat. Hall tells a curious story of a girl who is vertically challenged... but it's really a good opportunity to party and to play out a little. Mobley of course gets the chance to stretch out on keys again and it's always to hear the sweet sound of Hall on sax. Instrumentals on this recording are superb. Lucy Was In Trouble starts the wrap of the cd performing some of Wet Willie's widely recognizable tracks. hall and the gang don't lie back on their laurels though delivering a greatly inspired track with a lot of enthusiasm and great instrumentals again. Leona is a hard driving track with a lot of key lead. Hall's vocals are right up front as you'd hope and there is a bit of slide creeping in there. This tracks turns into a full fledged spiritual driven a capella track but with the band just waiting to pounce on you. The song concludes with an extremely sweet sax riff.

Ok...the grand finale!! Grits Ain't Groceries and Keep on Smilin'. I'm guessing there isn't a person reading this review who don't know these songs. The entire band sings and plays these songs like they are the first time they have performed them and they sound extremely fresh. I'm really happy that the band put this cd out. There is so much talent in this band and it's not well hidden. get your won't be sorry!!

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