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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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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Diamonds and Stones - Jake Lear - New Release Review

I just received a copy of Diamonds and Stones, the new Jake Lear release (December 4, 2012)and it's smokin'! Lear is joined by Roy Cunningham on drums and Carlos Arias on bass. The recording opens with Strange Things, a track that has the swampy sound of Buddy Guy's Sweet Tea recordings coupled with echoes of Niel young and Roy Buchanan. Excellent! Going Back Home (North Mississippi Bound) has a lot of the authenticity of RL Burnside and that's saying a lot for a man born in Vermont. This is basic swamp blues and it's really strong. Wasting Time drives home the raw sound of the delta. Diamonds and Stones sounds a little more updated, along the lines of the Stripes or Bob Dylan... but original, not like a copy. As you progress through this recording you continue to wait for the weak spot but it doesn't come. Lear plays a few interesting raw guitar solos on this track cementing the importance of real over technical. Down By the River is a bit more uptempo with a bit of a 60's boogaloo beat. This is really cool and Lear takes a guitar interlude stretching out a little... seeing James Brown dancing in my head. John Lee Hooker's Jack O' Diamonds keeps the real Hooker feel, something that most modern players can't/don't do. I have a special appreciation for early Hooker tracks and this is a really great tribute to Hookers originality. Junior Wells' Work Work Work sets the Chicago feel. There is nothing that is really flashy here...just great solid blues. I See A Train Coming, although still simple in nature, has a more complex nature like SRV, Peter Green or Buddy Guy. Quit You, an original Lear track, nods to Howlin' Wolf. This is a shuffle track with a bit of Texas blended in. The final track, Boogie Time, could be right off of a Hound Dog Taylor recording. Although Lear's playing style doesn't mimic Taylor's style, his carefree playing and with reckless abandon captures some of the Dog's spirit. This is an excellent recording.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE” This track is not from the new release but representative of Jake's work.

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