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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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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ilana Katz Katz - I've Got Something To Tell You - New release review

I just received the newest release, I've Got Something To Tell You, from Ilana Katz Katz, and it's quite good. I'll preface this review with a note that this release is strongly bluegrass/ rural feel and has a unique open look at the blues. Opening with Marilyn's Blues Ronnie Earl and Katz trade riffs (guitar and violin) over a solid blues bass line by Jesse Williams. Very nice. On John Lee Hooker's She's Long She's Tall, a strong sense of Hooker and boogie underlies this updated version of a classic blues track. Katz is on lead vocal and violin and Earl provides percussive guitar rhythm. On traditional track Cruel Willie Blues, Katz really takes the lead on what I'd call a traditional fiddle tune, joined by Marylou Ferrante on guitar for a simple country instrumental. Robert Lockwood Jr.'s Take A Little Walk With Me features Diane Blue on lead vocal and she does a really sweet job. Ronnie Earl is back on lead guitar, this track falling square in his wheel house. Really nice. Another traditional tune, Old Medeira Waltz pairs Katz with Dotty Moore for a very sweet fiddle duet. Shove the Pig's Foot A Little Further In The Fire is a continuation of the duet but with a fun, country/Irish reel feel. If you like simple country /bluegrass style tunes, this is really well done. PB Cracker Blues again pairs Ronnie Earl with Katz on a 12 bar blues jam. Earl takes the lead and Katz stays with him on the melody but when it comes to the solo, Earl and Katz each step up their game and make strong statements. Conan's Farewell was written in memory of Katz's deceased cat. A playful tune with only fiddle and rhythm guitar by Ferrante it is relaxing and nicely articulated. Runnin' in Peace is written in response to the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the writers personal experience being there. This is my favorite track on the release with super deep roots guitar riffs from Earl and wailing vocals by Diane Blue. Excellent! Another traditional bluegrass track, Johnny Don't Get Drunk pairs Katz with Ferrante on banjo. This track is a lot of fun and well executed. Memphis Minnie's Ain't Nothin' In Ramblin'/Frisco Town finds Ferrante on vocal and guitar with Katz on fiddle. Delivered with a lot of feeling but maintaining the rural country feel these tracks stand out on their own. Wrapping the release with a traditional fiddle tune, Piney Ridge, Katz goes it alone showing pure mastery of country / bluegrass fiddling. This is a different kind of blues release but one that I find quite entertaining. Want something different with a country blues feel. This is it!

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