Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eller Soul Records artist: Li'l Ronnie & the BlueBeats - unfinished business - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, unfinished business, from Li'l Ronnie & the BlueBeats. Opening with Bring Your Fine Self Home, an easy swing blues track featuring Claudia Carawan on lead vocals, and the sure hand of Ericson Holt on keys. Li'l Ronnie has a strong harp overtone and also adds vocal harmonies. On Too Fast For Conditions, Stu Grimes sets a steady beat on drums and Li'l Ronnie rides high on harp. Jim Wark steps up with some cool guitar riffs and Carawan adds some nice sax work as well. R&B styled track Get Tough seems to best suit Carawan's vocal style backed by Almeta Ingram-Miller and Cheryl M. Beaver and Mike Moore hits some cool bass lines on this track. I Feel A Heartache Coming On, a solid ballad, blues style, is an easy hit for the group with Carawan carrying the bulk of the load with terrific backing from Almeta and Cheryl. Wark takes a tasty guitar solo backed by Holt on piano. Jump Jive, Then You Wail sticks very close to the original and shows a level of energy kicked up by Wark and Owens who really shine on this track. Li'l Ronnie takes the lead on title track, Unfinished Business. Carawan takes the second lead and harmonizes with Owens. A nice easy track, Holt and Owens play a piano/harp solo duet that is particularly nice on this track. Ray Charles' Hard Times has a really cool sax intro from Carawan. Bringing out her soul attributes, Carawan not only does nice vocal parts on this tune but also sultry sax soloing. Cold Hard Cash has a bit of swamp funk with Li'l Ronnie on harp and lead vocal. Li'l Ronnie steps forward again for a featured harp solo on this track and Grimes' addition of percussion gives the track another dimension. Thick & Thin has a funky R&B sound like Muscle Shoals or Tower of Power. Funky guitar riffs and a really nice piano solo from Holt over cool bass riffs from Mike Moore make this track smoke. Stop Cheatin' Me Blind has a standard 12 bar format with cool piano lead throughout. Li'l Ronnie has the lead on vocal and also punctuates with harp. You Don't Have To Go Home is a swinging shuffle track with rich harmonies from Almeta and Cheryl and nice harp work under the vocals. Wark steps up again on this track with a tasty guitar solo and some ultra cool trem bends. That's What A Girl Wants To Hear is a slow R&B style ballad mostly showcasing Carawan's vocals. Swing track, I Just Met A Man is playful and features light vocals and horn work. Wark shows a nice light hand on guitar riffs and additional horn work from Carawan. Wrapping the release is traditional blues style track, I Had A Warden for a Woman. Li'l Ronnie digs in oh harp and also takes the lead on vocals. Likely my favorite track on the release, this track is a solid blues track.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

This isn't a track from the latest release but is a good example of Li'l Ronnie's Work:

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