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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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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Michael Harrison - Why I Sing The Blues - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Why I Sing The Blues, from Michael Harrison and it has a lot of variety. Opening with Three Dollars In My Pocket, Harrison on guitar and vocal leads the way joined by Ron Bland on bass, Ron Jolly on keys, Mike Marlier on percussion and Bob Rebholz on sax. Bland has a cool aggressive bass style and Harrison's own guitar style has a bit of freestyle fluidity. Gonna Leave This Town has a catchy melody and easy rock format. Bland takes a nice bass solo leading into solos by Rebholz and Harrison as well. Very nice! Slow blues ballad, On My Way opens with an interesting guitar solo and organ tension. This track has some really interesting instrumental runs on it making it one of my favorites on the release. Once Upon A Time has a simple 12 bar format anchored by Bland. Harrison's casual vocal styling blends nicely with his loose, frenzied guitar work, Marlier and Jolly gluing it together. Moondance Of The Leprechauns has a light jazzy feel and features a nice piano solo by Jolly, a really sweet bass solo by Bland and Harrison's own jazz chops on guitar. With it's walking bass line, Everyday I Have The Blues, is a happy go lucky track with healthy space for improvisation by Jolly and Harrison. Title track, Why I Sing The Blues, has a cool rhythm and a few unexpected changes in melody with some particularly nice guitar riffs to finalize the track. Cool! Rocker, Take It From The Top, is as simple as a blues rock track gets with almost Lou Reed like vocals. Harrison shows explosive riffs to cap the track. Blues In B-Flat opens with a cool bass/drum jam, slowly building with the adding of guitar and keys. Rebholz really swings when he steps up on sax for the star on top of this track. Wrapping the release is Hole In My Soul, a loping blues along the lines of a Big Bill Broonzy track with rugged vocals and bright piano work. I particularly like some of Harrison's guitar phrasing on this track.. a super track to wrap this release.

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