Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hokahey Records artists: Micke & Lefty Featuring Chef - Up The Wall - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Up The Wall, by Micke & Lefty (Featuring Chef). Opening with acoustic ballad, You Better Me, Micke Björklöf on vocals, drums&percussion, harmonica, guitar, Lefty Leppänen on vocals, acoustic- and national steel guitar and Chef on vocals and bass sing in incredibly sweet harmony. I'm A Guitar Man is an acoustic track featuring alternating vocal leads and hard driving Texas style boogie. Lead resonator guitar soloing by Lefty is quick and clean. Up The Wall has a simple country blues feel with cool guitar and harp riffs under vocal lead by Micke, and clean bass and drums. Clean Up opens with a cool slide riff and had a early sixties rockabilly feel. Slick slide work throughout and clever vocal backing make this one of toe coolest tracks yet. Come Here Pretty Baby again showcases cool vocal harmonies and clever guitar finger work. Ultimate All Around Man has a bit of a Cajun feel with a light march beat from Micke. With it's light springy feel and Lefty's cool resonator work and lead vocals make this a radio likely favorite. Good Friend has the feel of a contemporary "old style" country blues. Nice acoustic 12 string by lefty and harp work by Micke highlight this track. Busy really has a fast paced rhythm with train like rhythm and slick country infused blues guitar riffs. Very nice! Attention again rubs up against the rockabilly fence with rim shots and vocal harmonies. Nicely coordinated guitar and harp lead gives this track additional spunk. You Know has a really nice bass opening by Chef. With a general feel of St James Infirmary, this is a cool dramatic track with nice vocal harmonies, a willowy harp solo from Micke and spatial pedal steel work from Lefty. Good Ol' Train has a real country flavor with soft country vocals and featuring a really sweet guitar solo from Lefty. Pablo Grolin also adds a cool organ part throughout. Tony Joe White's Poke Salad Annie gets a more Latin feel but maintaining an acoustic sympathy and slide guitar overdrive. Nice take on a classic track. Wrapping the track is Don't Take It So Hard, a melodic ballad. Again strong vocal harmonies highlighted by Lefty on guitar, banjo and mandolin define this track. A full bluegrass breakdown provides a fitting close for an interesting release.

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