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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, May 27, 2014

Black Hen Music artist: Colleen Rennison - See The Sky About To Rain - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 17, 2014), See The Sky About To Rain, from Colleen Rennison. Opening with Robbie Robertson's All La Glory, Rennison comes straight at you with a crystal clear voice backed by a great horn section, Jim Hoke (sax), Steve Herrman (trumpet) and Bill Huber trombone). Super guitar man Steve Dawson rips a cool guitar solo on this track adding a pinch of hot sauce. Townes Van Zandt's White Freightliner is up next with a real bluegrass feel. Rennison's voice is perfect for this type of travel and Dawson on resonator is joined by Tim O'Brien who really knows how to punch it up with fiddle and banjo. Whiskey, Whiskey has a classic 50's country ballad style and shows a richness in Dennison's vocal styling and execution. Daswon lays down some clean slide work and Darryl Havers adds some key organ work. Geoff Hicks (drums) and Jeremy Holmes (bass) play it straight and Sarah Dugas does a nice job on backing vocals. Oleander has a warm spiritual feel and of course has the McCrary sisters as backup singers. Cool. Leonard Cohen's Why Don't You Try is up next done gently in show fashion featuring some of the nicest acoustic slide work on the release. Bobby Gentry track Fancy, is next and it actually preserves a lot of the sass originally delivered by Gentry. Tom Russell's Blue Wing is really a nice song to feature the best of Rennison's voice. Dawson even adds some pedal steel on this track giving it more of a country ballad feel. Another Robbie Robertson composition, Stage Fright, gets a modest makeover with the addition of horns. Joni Mitchell's Coyote brings out yet some other features in Rennison's voice which seemed unique to Mitchell. Primarily using Mitchell's phrasing but with a slight country twist in her voice, this is a pleasant track with some particularly cool atmospheric sounds produced by Dawson on the pedal steel guitar. Billy Cowsill's The Fool Is The Last One To Know, done straight down the country highway is possibly my favorite entry on the release. Dawson takes the steel deep in country style and Havers definitely gets the country roll on piano. Booker T. Jones' My Crew stays with the pure country feel and is a soothing track with the McCrary sisters adding an additional dimension. Wrapping the release is the title track, Neil Young's See The Sky About To Rain. A good solid track to hit the airwaves, Dennison is smooth in every way and Dawson pulls out a number of stringed textures to well compliment the track.

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This track is not from the release but does give the reader a good impression of the artist's work.

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