Friday, January 23, 2015

Eller Soul Records artist: Mike Henderson Band - If You Think It's Hot Here... - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, If You Think It's Hot Here..., from The Mike Henderson Band and it's quite good! Opening with I Wanna Know Why, a creeping blues number with some great Fender guitar tones. Michael Rhodes lays down a real serious bass lead and Henderson has a voice that is just right for this type of blues rock music. Kevin McKendree really hammers the piano and Henderson gets down serious with some tasty blues riffs making this a great opener. Send You Back To Georgia is a great rock and roller with a serious rocking beat (Pat O'Connor - drums) and McKendree really takes the opportunity to bring this baby to it's knees. Henderson whips out the slide and rides the lower fretboard with some deep grinding grooves. Excellent! On shuffle track, Houndog Taylor's It's Alright is a great 12 bar number with a serious lope. McKendree takes the first leg and Henderson the second on slide for a super romp in blues land. Title R&B style track, If You Think It's Hot Here, has a taste of Soul Serenade by McKendree on piano with a a nice B3 wrth on gospel. Chris and Morgane Stapleton add the cool vocal backing. Henderson takes a nice slide solo on the track and McKendree reall shines as well. Very nice. One of my picks for this release is Weepin' And Moanin'. With a smooth slower pace and "just right" key accents against Henderson's guitar riffs, this track is hot! Muddy Water's Mean Red Spider gets a funky under beat with a great pace set by O'Connor. Another tasty piano solo by McKendree and well paced phrasing by Henderson both vocally and on guitar makes this track shine. On Robert Johnson's If I Had Possession opens with Henderson on acoustic slide laying down some of the hottest riffs on the release. Slowly building the track gains a New Orleans strut with the aide or McKendree on piano and snappy drumming by O'Connor. Henderson steps back uyp but on electric guitar this time leading the track to a close. Very cool! Sonny Boy Williamson's Unseen Eye has a real nice bass line by Michael Rhodes and Henderson lays out some of the blusiest riffs on the release. I really like this track. The extended guitar work on this track really hits it! Blind Lemon Jefferson's Matchbox gets a Carl Perkins' or Ronnie Hawkins' feel but with Jerry Lee Lewis spin and Chuck Berry guitar riffs. Very cool! Melvin Jackson's Gamblin' Blues has a serious Texas feel. I particularly like Henderson's vocals on this track and O'Connor and Rhodes really drive the bottom. McKendree takes a cool barrelhouse piano solo and Henderson steps up with a fat solo of his own. Hot track! Wrapping the release is Rock House Blues, a slow, harp led blues (Henderson) with McKendree on piano. This is a really nice conclusion to a particularly cool release!

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Here's a taste of Henderson if you don't know his work:

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