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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 12, 2013

Severn Records artist: Ursula Ricks - My Street - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (October 15, 2013), My Streets, from Ursula Ricks and it's super! Opening with Tobacco Road, a laid back R&B track with great bones. Harp master Kim Wilson adds some nice riffs blending and nicely complimenting Ricks rich voice. Sweet Tenderness has a really nice flow nicely showcasing Ricks' amazing feel for her music. Backed by strings and Christal Rheams and Caleb Green, this track has a solid radio sound. Mary Jane has an infectious groove and Ricks plants herself firmly in the back beat. Full key work from Kevin Anker and unusually rhythm guitar work from Johnny Moeller add to the interest of this track. Title track, My Street, has a really interesting rhythm led by Robb Stupka on drums and Steve Gomes on bass. Ricks just coasts along on top on the track adding her vocals musically. Very nice! I really like the way that Due moves. A slinky track with Kenny Rittenhouse and William Dunn on trumpet is a really nice venue for Ricks. Moeller steps up with some soulful bluesy guitar riffs and Anker really hits the spot with the organ. Right Now, the blusiest track on the release has a JG Watson/WW Washington feel with blues and funk. This kind of track really plays to my soft spot. The musical arrangement on this track is killer with instrumental pieces added like a master adds a dab of paint. A dab of organ here, a drum riff there, and then Moeller steps up with a killer guitar solo. Make Me Blue has just that right amount of sway and you can't help but move with the rhythm. Again Ricks does a masterful job of just inserting vocals that lead the track but don't smother it. Excellent! Just A Little Bit Of Love has been one of my favorite tracks for many years and it's nice to see it covered by Ricks. (If you haven't heard this track by Curtis Mayfield, run, don't walk to your nearest cd store and buy a copy... It's excellent.) Ricks adds her own flair to the track and Mark Marella spices up the mix with a nice percussion break. Closing the release is the funky What You Judge, a smokin' hot number. It's really nice to see some great artists like Ricks fill the void left in this neo-soul/blues space as it is lacking (or at least it isn't finding it's way to me). Ricks has chosen a terrific track for the close with just the right amount of funk. Moeller steps up on the track, leaving his blues at the door and laying down a great riff. Anker peeks around the corner with some really nice key riffs as well making this one of the absolute standout tracks on the release. I really like this release and hope to hear more from Ricks soon!  

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1 comment:

  1. The DC Blues Society NYE Dinner Dance Party with Ursula Ricks Project at the American Legion Post 268 Wheaton MD - Ursula Ricks is a Severn Records artist, performed this year at the Silver Spring Free Blues Festival, and brings heart and soul and R&B to her blues - tickets available on the DCBS website