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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, October 31, 2012

Conclave Records artist: Altered Five - Gotta Earn It - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Gotta Earn It, from Altered Five. This is one of the more entertaining new recordings that I've heard in the past few months. The opening track, Ain't That Peculiar, a song made popular by Marvin Gaye has a definite R&B feel revved up with Albert King like guitar riffs by Jeff Schroedl. What's not to like! Three Wishes, having more of a soul ballad style really showcases leader Jeff Taylor's vocal abilities and gives Jeff Schroedl a nice opening to again showcase his chops on lead guitar. The title track, You've Got To Earn It, has a definite southern soul sound but holding tight to the blues with blistering guitar riffs from Jeff Schroedl and fine rhythm backing from drummer Scott Schroedl, bassist Mark Solveson and key man Ray Tevich. Keep The Best takes a modern uptempo blues shuffle stance with the ever constant great vocals from JT but unexpected ripping guitar soloing from Jeff Schroedl who not only exhibits great chops but really cool tone when subdued. Older, Wiser, Richer is a driving blues track lead off again with Jeff S. on guitar and he sets a pretty nice table for JT to sing from. Tevich gets a chance to stretch a bit on the 88's and Jeff Schroedl again comes in with beautiful guitar riffs that make you sweat. Mona Lisa is a bit more straightforward R&B ballad with the funky back down low. Jeff Schroedl, a name you'll want to remember plays some neck wrenching riffs on this track as well .... bringing to mind Junior Wells' Snatch It Back (oh baby) And Hold It! Tight Spot is constructed along the lines of a more contemporary blues of Robert Cray but with Albert King influenced screaming riffs by Jeff Schroedl (translation, think SRV arranged by Robert Cray and played by the sons of Albert King and Otis Rush). Dynamite has a much more funky base and it's really cool. The vocal treatment on this track is more Eric Gales but the arrangement and instrumentation sticks to it's truth and the band sounds like Altered Five. Hard to do anything but draw comparisons but the sound is really different and enjoyable. Buddy Guy's Watch Yourself has a really straight up rock attach sounding more like a Little Richard arrangement showing even another dimension of this tight band. Tevich plays a nice long piano stretch and sets JT up to keep the crowd jumping with his crisp vocals. This track has a lot of the energy of an early rock n' roll track hanging onto it's blues roots. Oh yeah...and Jeff Schroedl rips this track a new one with some flashy r n r guitar riffs! Bounce Back, the last track on the release has a laid back feeling and seems like the natural airplay track. JT's vocals are more subdued and the band in general more slick. This is a really strong release from a band that I have not been aware of prior to this listening. Grab a copy. I think you'll really like it.

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  1. Great review BMan!!!

  2. Thanks for the review! I am going to recommended it on my New Music Tuesday post.