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Thursday, July 2, 2015

West Tone Records artist: The Lucky Losers - A Winning Hand - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, A Winning Hand, from The Lucky Losers featuring Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz. Opening with Change In The Weather, a bluesy pop track, with just a touch of funk. Phil and Cathy share lead vocals and Michael Peloquin (sax), Tom Poole (trumpet) and Mike Rinta (trombone) add a nice horn section. Upbeat rocker, I Take What I Want, features a nice harp solo from Phil and drums with Robi Bean. Jimmy Rogers' What Have I Done, is up next with a cool easy swing beat. Cathy and Phil share lead vocals and Chris Burns carries the load on piano. Title track and southern rocker, A Winning Hand, features Steve Freund on lead guitar. This track has a familiar feel like a blend of (Sweet Home Alabama, Werewolf of London and Last Dance with Mary Jane). Suicide By Love has a primary bluesy jazz feel. Joe Kyle on upright bass and Jay Hansen on drums set the stage and Chris Burns lays down a nice sheet of piano. Lemons takes the lead on vocal and this may be the coolest track on the release, featuring a nice solo from Phil on harp and Kid Andersen on guitar. Bob Dylan's What Was It You Wanted gets a funky bottom compliments Steve Hazlewood on bass and Robi Bean on drums. Chris Burns' B3 work on the track adds a nice warmth and Marvin Green hits the note on lead guitar as Cathy and Phil share lead vocals. Allen Toussaint's What Is Success has a nice warm jazzy feel with Ben Rice on slide guitar mimicking the note sliding effect of Cathy and Phil's voices and Burns does a particularly nice job on piano. Long Hard Road is Phil's best vocal effort on a funky jazz number. Marvin Greene is back again laying down some tasty guitar riffs backed by Kevin Zuffi on organ, and Peloquin and Poole on horns. Uptempo blueser Baby You Got What It Takes has a great driving rhythm courtesy of Kid Andersen, Marvin Greene and Steve Hazlewood. Phil steps up with a hot harp solo on this number as well making it one my favorites on the release. Cry No More has a touch of Latin rhythm making for a nice pleasant ride. Zuffi rolls the Nord keyboard for a nice flavorful solo and Bean keeps the bottom tight. Driving blues track, Detroit City Man, gets a nice boogie groove going with Bean on drums, Evans on bass and Berkowitz on harp carrying the load as Lemons has the lead vocals. Wrapping the release is Don't You Lose It, a slow country blues ballad. Burns creates a nice effect with his Wurlitzer piano, the tempo and vocal blending on this track and the guitar work by Andersen make this a great finisher.

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