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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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Thursday, November 13, 2014

No Refund Band - Current State Of Blue - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Current State Of Blue from No Refund Band and it's quite good. Opening with Buy The Blues, a cool loper, Ricky Jackson is back with serious thick vocals backed by a hot horn section of Jim Brady on trumpet, Anthony Terry on sax, Paul English on trumpet, Kelly Dean on alto sax and Warren Sneed on tenor sax. His own lead guitar work spanks and I particularly like the bass work of Rik Robertson. Smooth swinger and title track, Current State Of Blue, is laid back with cool nice piano work from Randy Wall and again cool trumpet accents from English and Brady as well as a nice sax solo from Terry. On high stepping St. Louis Bound, Travis Doyle joins on B3 and Tyson Sheth on drums. Soul ballad Favorite Fool has a real nice melody and should easily grab broad airplay. Latin influenced, Love Unmade, nicely features Brady and Terry to accent the flavor and blending vocals of Jackson, Robertson, Brady and Terry as well as a crisp Spanish style guitar solo really make this track stand out. Mike Burch on drums as well as Sheth on percussion really get into the groove and Jackson hits Santana mode on electric guitar for one of his solos. Very nice! On one of Eric Clapton's more prominent tracks from the Layla release, Bell Bottom Blues, this band puts a more soulful spin making it sound quite fresh. Super! Jackson lays down a really nice guitar solo which does not mimic Clapton and Terry also kicks in a soulful sax solo. Well done! Mountain's Mississippi Queen is well done but taking on a monster rock track like that and trying to make it new is almost like redoing Black Dog. Totally enjoyable. Shuffle track, I Gotta Play, has a real nice feel and I particularly like Jackson's guitar tone on this track. Brady steps up with a bright trumpet solo and Terry isn't far behind wowing you with his sax. Smokin. Funky track, Bought and Sold, sets a nice groove and cool guitar effects give the track extra punch. Again Brady steps forward delivering on trumpet. Nice groove! Blues Man Dying features Walter Cross on drums and I really like his feel. Jackson almost crosses into country guitar riffs on this bluesy rocker and Randy Wall adds some nice piano texture. Gary Moore's signature track, Still Got The Blues, lends itself really nicely to Jackson's voice. His guitar work is extra tasty and this track is really smokey. This is a really nice rendition of a track which has been overdone but these guys definitely made it worth the listen. Wrapping the release is ultra funky, She Take Me, with a punchy horn section. This track will force you up onto your feet to do the James Brown. Cool wrap up for a super release.

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Not on this release but a good representation of the bands sound:

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