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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, June 6, 2014

Delta Groove Music artists: The Mannish Boys - Wrapped Up and Ready - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 17, 2014), Wrapped Up And Ready, from the Mannish Boys and it's a blast. Not only is this release a recording of the Mannish Boys, one of the most talented group of musicians in the business but also features a ton of featured players. Opening with I Ain't Sayin' Monster Mike Welsh gets the hard groove on with great riffs and Sugarray Rayford takes the lead on vocals. This is a terrific opener featuring Fred Kaplan on piano and Welsh really blows the top off. Roy Brown's Everything's Alright maintains a lot of the original vintage sound. Kid Ramos takes the lead on guitar on this track with his own fluid riffs and Ron Dziubla adds just the right amount of sax to the mix. Background vocals by Clifton Curtis and Larry Dobson add authenticity. Funky Blues Struggle In My Hometown features Paris Slim on vocal and lead guitar. This track has a really nice feel as well as a few change ups. Try not to bop along to this one! Title track, Wrapped and Ready features Rayford back on vocal and Kirk Fletcher on stinging lead guitar. Willie J Campbell has the bass and Jimi Bott the drums. Fred Kaplan adds a really nice piano and Kim Wilson shines on harmonica. It Was Fun has a really nice slower Texas style lope and Steve Freund plays some really nice stylized guitar solos behind the super vocals of Rayford. A really smooth track it really shows the versatility of the band. I Can Always Dream has Paris Slim back on lead guitar with a straight up 12 bar blues, Chicago style. This is a really cool track with plenty of smoke. Candy Kane really does a nice job on lead vocals on Ike Turner track I Idolize You. Laura Chavez plays lead guitar on this track and certainly has her own signature style. Cynthia Manley and Jessica Williams and well blended backing vocals to the fire and Randy Chortkoff has a super feel on harmonica. Really nice track. You Better Watch Yourself is pushed along by Fletcher doing a James Brown guitar riff giving it a really super groove. Jacob "Walters" Huffman is featured on harp on this track and really gets a nice sound. Something For Nothing has a super big horn sound and clean guitar riffs by Welsh really stand tall. Rayford's vocals on this track are particularly cool and Kim Wilson is on top on harmonica. This is a great track and Welsh just blows me off my seat. On Can't Make a Living, a blues rocker, Randy Chortkoff takes on lead vocals with Trenda Fox and Fletcher steps up with a really nice guitar solo. The Blues Has Made Me Whole is a deep groove swinger featuring Freund on lead vocal and hot lead guitar. Kaplan is back on piano and Bott does a particularly nice job of setting the track off with drums. Very cool! I Have Love has a really interesting sound and again Rayford back on lead vocals. Bob Corritore adds a really nice harp solo to this track and Welsh rips a really nice guitar solo as well. Excellent! Troubles is an easy going blues track that is nicely crafted around Rayfords voice. Kim Wilson's harp work on this track are the best of his outings on this release with the harp almost wrapping itself around the track. Very nice. Magic Sam track She Belongs To Me has a really hot sound with Kid Ramos getting just the "right" sound on guitar. Rayford again sets the track off nicely with excellent vocals but Ramos sets the thing to flames. Very very nice! Don't Say You're Sorry features Slim on lead vocal and smokin slide guitar. Wrapping the release is an excellent, Blues For Michael Bloomfield. Fletcher absolutely nails Bloomfield's phrasing on this absolutely must be heard instrumental track. Rich Wenzel adds really nice B3 on this track and of course Campbell on bass and Bott on drums are huge creating this sound but let's face it. It's a guitar track about a legendary blues player and it's about the guitar. Fletcher, Slim and Welsh literally blow the doors off of this 8 plus minute guitar extravaganza. Excellent... Mike would have loved it! This will be one of the releases that you must hear this year.

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