Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Smoky Greenwell's New Orleans Blues Jam - Live At The Old U.S. Mint - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Live At The Old U.S. Mint by Smoky Greenwell's New Orleans Blues Jam and it's a great jam! Opening with swinging harp track, Smoke Alarm, Greenwell and his band, Pete Bradish on drums, David Hyde on bass and Jack Kolb get the joint rocking with a hot instrumental. Bringing the tempo down a bit, My Own Blues Club is a solid 12 bard number with great harp tones and steady guitar riffs. Henry Mancini classic, Peter Gunn, gives Greenwell to step up with his tenor sax and play lead lead lines. With great heart and solid technique, Greenwell, backed by the driving rhythm of Hyde on bass whips it out. Mark Pentone and Kolb lay down some stylized guitar riffs as well. Very cool! Swing blues track, Power of Now, plays nicely into the hands of Greenwell on harp and vocals. Joined by Brandish and Pentone on vocal this track has a great feel! Mark Pentone takes the lead on Jodie with solid vocals and fleet fingered guitar riffs. Greenwood of course adds hot harp riffs maintaining clean balance. On I Earned The Right, the crew gets a rockin' blues feel a great walking bass line by Hyde. Smokin Chicago style with guitar and harp solos throughout. Between Iraq and a Hard Place uses a clever play on words on a Jimmy Reed style blues. With Bradish back on vocals Greenwood and Kolb each add cool riffs making this one of my favorite tracks on the release. Funky blues, Need A Friend, ventures into Albert King land rhythmically, Smoky teams up on a vocal duet, reinforcing his vocal with harp echo. Funky harp work with blues roots punctuate the track at every turn and another slick guitar solo on this track gives it an extra zing! Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes adds vocal and accordion to Love's Gone, a New Orleans flavored R&B track. What a great time for Smoky to break back out his sax to trade riffs with Sunpie on accordion. Driving guitar riffs pushed along by Sunpie's accordion add to a cool jam. Sunpie starts off another track, Leroy's Shuffle on accordion and vocal which really has a nice groove. Greenwood steps up with some of the best harp riffs since the opener trading with Sunpie. Kolb adds a bit of flash as well on guitar bringing the track back to TDC with solo's by Sunpie and Smoky. Wrapping the release is a stone boogie, Back To The Boogie, featuring twin lead harp and guitar. With a jam of over 6 minutes, Smoky and Kolb cover a lot of land with fluid riffs. Very nice!

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