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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, July 14, 2015

C-Train Records artist: Christian Collin - Spirit Of The Blues - New release review

I just received the newest release, Spirit Of The Blues, from Christian Collin and it's got flare! Opening with One And Only, a blues rocker featuring Collin on vocal and lead guitar , Alex Evans on bass, Chris Monroe on drums, Jen Williams on backing vocals and Johnny Iguana on B-3 this track has good radio potential with a catchy melody and flashy guitar. Player's Game has a cool boogie line with grinding guitars, a driving bass by Evans and features Matthew Skoller on harp. A Woman Like You has a kicker beat that gets you going. I particularly like Collin's vocals on this track and Skoller lays down a nice harp line. Chuck Berry influenced riffs give the track a nice bit of heat over a Lynyrd Skynyrd kind of heat. Very cool! Dance The Blues Away has a conventional 12 bar format and a real nice piano roll by Iquana. Collin takes a nice and easy guitar solo that is all about style and compliments the track nicely. Ballad, Without You, has a solid R&B feel and is well suited to the vocals of Collin and Williams. With an almost Atlanta Rhythm Section kind of feel, the band lays down a real sweet track with rich harmonies, a melodic guitar solo and backing key work by Iquana and Brian Leach (clavinet )makes this the best radio track on the release. Title track, Spirit Of The Blues, has some real fire with hot guitar riffs and and a walking bass line that hits the spot. I find Collin's vocals on this track nicely matched to the gritty nature of the track making it my personal favorite. Excellent! Loping shuffle track, Highway Song, has a real bopping groove and Collin rides it high with clean, tasty succinct riffs. Blues For You takes the pace down to a nice easy roll with an almost Jeff Healey feel. I particularly like the guitar sting on this track. Collin spanks it pretty good on this track but without and pyrotechnics to make it sound plastic. Real nice! Dead Man Walking features Collin on slide along with his vocal and it has a bit of an eerie sound. This track, which has the lease amount of pop value, is really nicely constructed and interesting with a swampy feel. Old 109 has just a boot full of country but no more than say Highway 61 by Johnny Winter. This is a cool blues rocker pairing Peter Gallanis on slide with Skoller on harp and still allowing Collins to drive the train vocally and riff out on lead guitar. Hot rocker! The River is an easy going acoustic number featuring Collin on vocal and acoustic guitar Evans on bass, Chris Morrow on drums and Billy Branch on harp. Wrapping the release is Forever Friends, a soulful ballad with Rodney Brown on sax, Kenny Anderson on trumpet and Bill McFarland on trombone. This is a really smooth track putting me in mind of some of the classic work by Billy Price. Collin takes a real nice melodic solo in the track but maintains it to it's general soulful construction. Very nice conclusion.

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