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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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Monday, March 10, 2014

Back Pack Jones - Betsy's Kitchen - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Betsy's Kitchen from Back Pack Jones and it's a cool bag of upbeat blues. Opening with shuffle track Riptide Baby, Big Mike Wallace takes the lead on vocals and Kirk Lonbom swings in with some cool guitar riffs. Backing vocals by drummer Harvey Horton and bassist Michael Baier add to the swing. A driving bass line from Baier also drives this train. I'm Just A Man has a cool jazzy beat and Albert King like guitar riffs from Lonbom. Wendell Day takes a cool organ solo on this track and horn work from Jim Culberston (trumpet), AJ Good (trumpet), Jarrod Hill (sax), Archer Logan (sax) and Lawrence Niehaus (trombone) really sets this track off. Fixin' To Leave is a BB King style slower blues track with clean original guitar riffs.I particularly like the vocal work on this track which may be my favorite track on the release. Sit back and just let is rip. Baggage has a Latin feel with stinging "Santana like" guitar riffs from Lonbom. Dey steps up on the electric piano for a nice solo as well. The End, a quieter track, footed with percussion and keys leaves a wide open highway for Big Mike to sing with his robust voice. A loose "jazzy" touch on this track opens the door for more seemingly effortless jam solos from Dey and Lonbom. Even God Sings The Blues is another dirty blues track with a modified theme on "Help Me". A gripping guitar intro by Lonbom is a really sweet start. Big Mike really shines vocally on this track but Lonbom has the floor and makes good use of it! A complimentary organ solo from Dey over Baier's bass work and meticulous drums from Horton rounds out the track. Hey Diddle Riddle again rolls into more of a light jazzy jam. Nice violin work from Chenoa Alamu and chord work by Lonbom over organ work by Dey sets this track off from the rest. Hiding In Plain Sight has a funky feel with strong drum work from Horton. Archer Logan steps up with a real nice sax solo and Lonbom isn't far behind with a few quick riffs. The release is wrapped by I Got A Girlfriend, a bopping swing track with full horn compliment This track is a great finisher for the release featuring hot riffs, swinging beat and harmonious vocals.

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