Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - At Home Next Door - New Release Review

I have just received and had the opportunity to check out the new recording, At Home Next Door, by Al Basile. This record is produced by none other than Duke Robillard and is set for release on October 16, 2012. This is a two cd set packed full of great tunes. The first disk, At Home, is comprised of 14 solid blues and swing blues tracks and alone would qualify as a great blues release. The recording opens with Go Back Home To The Blues, a new Orleans style swing blues and featured Robillard with some great hot riffs. I Got to Be Loved and Be Loved takes the lead from Muddy with a Chicago style blues. Jerry Portnoy joins on harp for another great track. On Termites In My Basement, Ray Noica joins the group for a stripped down blues track with Bruce Katz on keys. Basile demonstrates why Robillard wanted to team with him so many years ago with a great vocal style. Daddy Got A Problem features a bit of coronet by Basile and and again sweet riffs from Robillard with just a touch of horns to warm up the bottom. I Really Miss You slows things down a bit and again Basile shows his vocal capabilities echoed by Robillard on guitar. This is a hot track with some particularly tight rhythms and really hot riffs by Robillard. Rich Latille opens this track with some really nice alto sax work and Doug James comes in behind him on Bari sax to heat up the bottom. Basile plays a really nice coronet solo on this track backed by Bruce Katz. Robillard plays very fluid guitar runs and this track seems to end it's 7 minute trek extremely quickly. 80 Bells wraps up the first disk with an acoustic number with a delta flare. Disk two, Next Door, has a totally different feel with a lot more horns and a strong funk and R&B feel.  The band lineup here is more condensed with Mark Teixrira on drums, Robillard on guitars, Scott Hamilton, Doug James, Rich Latille and Carl Querfutti on horns, Bruce Bears on keys, Jack Gauthier on keys and Brad Hallen on bass. This 13 track cd would be the more airplay driven disk featuring more pop oriented tracks, Basile on vocal and coronet. A standout blues track on this disk, A Mystery To Me slows the pace down a bit with cool solos by Robillard and Basile. It Is What It Is is another strong airplay contender with interesting thematic writing and a smooth sax solo. My Phone's Got A Mind Of It's Own is a clever track and falls more into the RFB swing blues track. Robliiard plays a particularly sweet guitar solo on this track and Latille plays a really nice sax solo. This 2 cd package is jammed full of blues, R&B and pop rhythm tracks. I found it really enjoyable and think that most blues, soul and R&B lovers will really like this new set. Great job!
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