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Thursday, May 15, 2014

American Blues Artist Group artist: Dudley Taft - Screaming in the Wind - New release review

I just received the newest release (May 20, 2014), Screaming in the Wind, by Dudley Taft and he continues to explore new territory. Opening with Skip James' Hard Time Killing Floor Blues uses a basic blues backdrop and twists of rock and metal to forge his own sound. His subtle yet solid approach on this track baits you in until he springs the rock trap where he and his band of rockers, John Kessler (bass), Jason Patterson (drums), andn Reese Wyans(organ)lay it all out. Freddie King's Pack It Up is a cool rock track with a great beat and almost Steve Miller like vocals, Taft wailing away on his guitar solo's yet keeping the track contained for easy airplay. Tom Hambridge joins on the track playing drums and the Muscle Shoals horn section (Charlie Rose on trombone, Jim Horn on sax and Vinnie Seizeilski on trumpet) adds that over the top sound. Red Line has a lot of southern rock feel with a solid drum/bass bottom and even a Golden Earring kind of rumble with a Billy Gibbons flair with great guitar riffs and a lot of pinched harmonics. Very cool. Title track, Screaming In The Wind has a bit of a swamp feel with a smokey rhythm, crafty organ work and super grindy guitar work. Taft uses the vocals in an interesting way perfectly complimenting the instrumentation. Possibly my favorite track on the release. 3DHD is a really interesting track with a rhythm similar to Foxy Lady, but with a melody which is much more melodic. A taste of Zac Wilde style vocal but with masterfully crafted harmonies and really nice guitar work makes this a definite standout track on the release. I Keep My Eyes On You has a light funk to the step but is way to far over the line toward heavy rock to be considered a funk track. this is an interesting blend of styles leading up to curiously cool guitar work from Taft. Chords and bends and jazz runs blended into a rugged rock sound. An extended guitar solo on this track is a definite bonus. A straight up blues ballad, The Reason Why, could be another strong radio contender. Taft knows how to run the board and isn't shy to show it. I really nice guitar solo on this track followed by an equally cool B3 solo from Wynans makes it a sure crowd grabber. Rise Above It takes a jagged rhythm tightly executed and with well crafted lyrics and melodies for a transitional blues/metal sound. I really like what he's doing here and can definitely see where he's going. Barrio is the most mellow of all tracks on the release in 3/4 time. Backing vocals from Ann and Regina McCrary create a warm feel and Taft keeps the guitar reeled in on this track while still showing his dexterity and tasteful riffs. Sleeping In the Sunlight again has that mix of heavy swagger and creme filling. Screaming guitar riffs played full out but mixed down have a very nice effect to create dynamics on this track. Tears In The Rain has an unusual time signature seemingly cradling the music with well blended vocal harmonies with Hambridge and skillfully played, emotionally packed guitar riffs. Wrapping the track is rocker Say You Will, a blend of tuff and soft. Patterson sets the pace with tight drumming, sided by Kessler on bass but Taft is riding high with his prominent vocal style and well selected guitar explosions. Excellent!

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