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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, August 14, 2013

Azure Music artists: Chicago Blues All-Stars - Red, Hot & Blues - New Release Review

I just received a copy of the new release; Red, Hot & Blues; by the Chicago Blues All-Stars and it's a funky blues blast! Opening with Walter Jacobs' Everything Gonna Be Alright, 'Killer' Ray Allison and Daniel 'Chicago Slim' Ivankovich are knocking a hole in it with wild screaming guitars. A super horn section; Johnny Cotton on trombone,Garrick Patten on sax and Kenny Anderson on trumpet; are bringing the funk. On Phil Guy's Feeling Sexy, Roosevelt 'Mad Hatter' Purifoy on keys, Johnny B. Gayden on bass and Jerry Porter on drums set a great groove for a James Brown style track with really cool under the track guitar riffs and horn fanfare throughout. Anji Brooks steps up on BB King's Wonder Why, taking the lead vocal role and harp wonder man Scott Dirks lays down some smokin' hot harp riffs. ( listening...this is your deal!) Killer steps up with a hot rippin guitar solo of his own making this one of the hottest tracks on the release. On a traditional arrangement of Buddy Guy/Junior Wells' Snatch It Back And Hold It, Dirks takes the spotlight on vocal and harp. Really nice traditional Chicago style track and really super delivery. On Willie Dixon's Wang Dang Doodle, Brooks steps back up to the mic and lays down an inspiring blues vocal over a really funky JB like horn infused backing. On Rufus Thomas' Walking The Dog, a slick blues funk groove erupts and the All-Star Horns lead the way for Dirks to grease up his harp. Hoppin on Junior Wells' Voodoo Man Blues, Dirks gets a great chance to make his harp talk. The arrangement has a bit more of a R&B style to it and Cotton get the chance to play a real nice bone solo on this track. Rippin guitar solos are not missed on this track either and Killer and Dirks (on harp) exchange riffs. On BB Kings' Rock Me Baby, Brooks again takes the vocal lead and moving the tempo up a few notches and taking more of an Albert King style approach, this track has a really fresh feel. On Willie Dixon's Let Me Love You, the All-Stars take more of a heavy rock/funk approach with distorted vocals and flaming Hendrix inspired guitar riffs. Really cool! Ending with Purifoy/Ivankovich original track, Mad Hatter's Blues, the All-Stars take a really easy pace with harmonic horns and spoken vocals. Super bluesy guitar riffs and piano work highlight this slinky number. This is a nice easy jam and the players having a chance to spread their wings a bit is a nice conclusion to a really fun release. Kick back, open up the speakers and let the blues hit you!

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