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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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Friday, January 31, 2014

Catfood Records artist: James Armstrong - Guitar Angels - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Guitar Angels (February 18, 2014) from James Armstrong and its smooth! Opening with a swinging shuffle tune, Grandma's Got A New Friend, Armstrong picks up where he left off on Blues at the Border with clever lyrics and stinging guitar work. Healing Time has a Curtis Mayfield/Wolfman Washington groove with a nice R&B feel and sweet vocals. A total redo of Glenn Frey's Take It To The Limit is actually almost unrecognizable in a good way. This track has a lot of attitude and drummer Rick King adds that drum attitude. With a real nice loping groove Armstrong lays down BB King like riffs and sings one of the coolest covers I've heard in a long time. Guitar Angels is a really nice Mayfield like R&B style ballad. Possibly my favorite track on the release, Armstrong sings in the pocket and Eric Tinsley lays down a nice bass line for Armstrong to solo over. Very nice! Moving To Nashville has a bit of a two step feel with nice slide work from Armstrong. Goodbye Kiss is a straight up ballad with solid vocals and melody. Dan Ferguson carries the basis of the track on keys. Bank Of Love is a hot potato with Rick King laying down a strong drum line. Armstrong really grips the vocal part on this track and with complimentary guitar riffs tears this track up! Another of my favorites on the release. Saturday Night Women has a cool strut to it featuring cool bass lines from Malcolm Gold and perfect rockin key work from George Papageorge. Armstrong has the perfect feel for guitar accent demonstrating it well on this particular track. Johnny Copelan's Blues Ain't Nothin' establishes a terrific groove with Gold again on bass and Warren Grant on drums. Armstrong does a great job of strokin this classic funky blues track. R&B style Runaway Train has the support of a great horn section includingAndy Roman (sax) Mike Middleton (trumpet) and Robert Claiborne (trombone). With a slick funky jog this track hits home. Finishing up the release with the radio version of Guitar Angel, this is a great conclusion to a sweet release. Jimi Hendrix melodies swirl through soul track with blues guitar riffs. Very very nice.

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