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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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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shaun Murphy - Loretta - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Loretta, from Shaun Murphy and it's real romper. Opening with Don't Lie to Me, Murphy kicks out the stops with a high strung two stepper. Her vocals are solid and tight. Jack Pearson really winds the slide guitar up on this track with a country blues flavor. With a little funk in the mix, I Pity The Fool comes high stepping in. Rob McNelley throws down some hot lead guitar riffs and Murphy is on top of her game vocally backed by Mark T Jordan on keys Randy Coleman on bass and George Lilly on drums. Sultry, Kiss Me Like Whiskey, is a sweet track to show off Murphy's vocal style. Echoed by Pearson on lead guitar this track should have a lot of radio appeal. Title track, Loretta, has a rolling train country like feel with Pearson reinforcing train whistle sound effects on his slide. Very cool! Slow ballad, Strange Life, is well constructed and performed. Jimi Fiano screams out a real hot guitar solo on this track setting the tension. Hard Working Man is a hard driving track with a high tension solo by McNelley. This is one of my favorite tracks on the release with Murphy driving the train at high speed. Big Train Stops At Memphis opens with a flame thrower of a guitar opener from Fiano. A country two stepper, Murphy has a great feel in this groove (think Tulsa Time). Should Be Hard To Love You is a rockin boogie with Murphy playing lead vocals against Pearson's stinging guitar lead. Careful They Say shows a particularly warm vocal blenind between Murphy, Randy Coleman and Matt Workman. Larry Van Loon adds strong keyboard riffs to the track and Fiano knows just how to punch up the track on guitar. Very crisp. Go Away, another boogie track sets a nice bar lead by Coleman on bass and Pearson stabs a hot poker in just where it's needed. Murphy is always on top but gives the instrumentalists space for the music to breathe. Nice! The slinky, 24 Hours From Memphis, has a strong melody and could easily be a radio hit with a strong Robert Cray R&B blues style. Possibly the strongest effort by Murphy, this track is tight! Wrapping the release is Bettye Crutcher's How Strong Is A Woman, a straight up R&B rocker. With a Memphis strut, this track is an excellent closer for the release with a feel good groove.

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