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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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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

VizzTone Label Group artist: Brandon Santini - Live and Extended - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (1/27/15), Live and Extended presented by Festival D'ete' De Quebec, by Brandon Santini. Opening with a funky version of Muddy Waters' One More Mile, Santini is cooking right out of the box on lead vocal and hot smokin' harp work. Great opener! Nick Hern on bass and Timo Arthur on guitar set a solid boogie rhythm nailed down by Chad Wirl on drums on This Time Another Year and Santini uses his solid blues voice and great harp phrasing to captivate the crowd. On Sonny Boy Williamson track, Elevate Me Mama, Santini really gets in the slow groove. This track is in excess of 6 minutes and Santini doesn't waste a note. Hot! On groove blues, Evil Woman, it's Hern and Arthur that set the pace and Arthur takes it for a nice ride with some flashy riffs of his own. The band drops back to nothing but drum and Santini takes a rid of his own. Very cool! Have A Good Time has a sassy 60's surf kind of sound rolled into a blues track. Arthur keeps it simple with rockabilly style riffs and Wirl keeps the groove. Help Me With The Blues is a solid flame thrower right out of the chute. Arthur is again right on the top with rock n roll guitar riffs and Wirl and Hern ride tight. Santini steps up with a hot hot harp solo. Excellent! Slim Harpo track, Got Love If You Want It, has a crisp early rock/blues feel. Santini really rocks the joint joined by Arthur on a screaming guitar solo. On No Matter What I Do, a cool Chicago style blues, Santini's vocal phrasing sets the bar and in call and response trades with Arthur on guitar riffs. Stepping up and unleashing a masterful harp solo is what this is all about. On shuffle track, What You Doing To Me, dials down the volume a bit and belts out the blues. In contrast his harp phrasing and easy going solo by Arthur gives this track a calming feel. Up next is Frank Frost's My Back Scratcher with a cool bass lead. Santini and Arthur each take very cool extended solos on this track making it one of my favorites on the release. Hot number I Wanna Boogie With You is so hot it's on fire. There are flames coming off of the band. (Stilladog will be whistling this one and blowing someone's ears out). Excellent! Wrapping the release is Come On Everybody, a traditional Chicago style blues. Santini's vocal styling really deserves more notoriety but it is always overshadowed by his harp work. This man can really do it all. With a BB King like swing, Santini belts out the blues bringing the show to a close. This is an excellent recording and a great representation of Santini's work.  

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