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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Silver Street Records artist: Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers - Living By The Minute - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (January 13, 2015), Living By The Minute, by Josh Hoyer & The Shadowboxers and I really like it. Hoyer's last release, a self titled CD was hot and this one is a super followup. Opening with soul strut title track, Living By The Minute, Hoyer with his strong soulful voice and fine keyboard playing backed by Denny Kushner on guitar and vocal, Justin G. Jones on drums and vocals, Josh Bargar on bass and vocal, Mike Dee on sax and vocal, Tommy Van Den Berg on trombone, Brian Morrow on flute and Hanna Bendler, Kim Moser & Megan Spain on backing vocal really hit the groove. Excellent! Misfit Children has a funky jazz groove with a hot horn/organ thing. I particularly like the drum riffs by Jones on this track popped by Morrow on flute. Great track! Over The City is s soul/R&B ballad with warm backing vocals and cool trombone by Van Den Berg. A Man Who Believes His Own Lies has a strong radio vibe with swinging pace and pop backing vocals. A nice sax solo by Dee nicely compliments the track. Let It Out is a hard roller along the Ike and Tina or Otis Redding line. Full blown horn backing and crisp drumming from Jones keeps this track moving. The First One is a really nice soul ballad giving Hoyer plenty of space to show his strong voice. Easy backing vocals and soft horns surround Hoyer as he sings. Dee steps up for a really sweet sax solo and the song builds in traditional soul style to a very nice crescendo before a quiet ending. Very nice! Real Time has complex rhythms with straight R&B on top with vocal and drums but with a Latin twist under the bottom with Hoyers keys, backing vocals and supporting musicians. 11:11 333 has a direct Latin Beat and Hoyer really works it. Backing vocalist add a really smooth blanket of sound right up to the time change when the band bridges into a James Brown strut. Kushner pushes even higher with a rich distortion filled electric guitar solo taking the track into a full blown jam. Blood and Bone has an absolute hot groove. A James Brown hits Bourbon Street feel with hot horns, and well phrased vocals. Jones is again setting a hot rhythm and Van Den Berg and Dee crank it up. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Don't Turn Away, a funky but mellower track which just has the feel of a closing track. Van Den Berg and Dee each take hot lap and Kushner lays down some hot riffs as well. A very nice conclusion to an overall excellent release!

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