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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 2, 2013

Catfood Records artist: Johnny Rawls - Remembering O.V. - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Remembering O.V. from Johnny Rawls and it's quite tasty! Rawls was OV Wright's musical director and guitarist in the 70's and kept Wright's band together for quite some time. Opening with Into Something (I Can't Shake Loose) Rawls and guest singer Otis Clay create a driving R&B atmosphere that makes you want to get up and move. Precious, Precious, with more of a soul swing, let's Rawls deliver vocally with backing from Andy Roman (sax) Mike Middleton (trumpet) and Robert Claiborne (trombone). Johnny McGhee (guitar) and Richy Puga (drums) add substantially with rhythm on a solid bass part by Bob Trenchard. On soul classic, Blind Crippled and Crazy, Rawls delivers one of the nicest renditions in years. This song has a real warmth that should make it a new classic from this release. On Poor Boy, a pop soul track, Rawls does a great job at getting a super groove. Ferguson lays down a nice organ solo followed by cool riffs by Mc Ghee. On Nickel and a Nail, Rawls and Clay do an absolutely beautiful job for putting it all out there. This is not just a remake of a classic but a very strong new interpretation of a classic track and worth the purchase just for this track. Excellent! On slow blues track, Eight Men, Four Women, Rawls really draws you into his world as a great singer and is nicely complimented by The Iveys. Dont Let My Baby Ride is a strong R&B track with nice horn and vocal backing. Ace Of Spades is a cool R&B track with a great hook and punctuating horn work. On high stepping I've Been Searching, Rawls really sets a smokin groove again creates one of this tracks that you keep listening for. His vocal poise and arrangement is tight. Ending with Blaze Of Glory, and teaming with Otis Clay, the release is wrapped just as the song describes, in a Blaze of Glory. Super backing vocals by the Iveys and the exchange by the two vocal champs makes this a great track for completion. This is the best release by Rawls in recent memory and certainly one for all fans of R&B/Soul style blues to check out. It isn't one just for the shelf but one that you';re likely to listen to over and over.

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 Not from this release but a good representation of Rawls in action:

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