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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, January 27, 2016

Reaction Records artist: Randy McAllister - Gristle To Gold - New release review

I just received the newest release, Gristle to Gold from Randy McAllister and it has a lot of soul. Opening with The Kid With the Really Old Soul, McAllister on lead vocals and harp is joined by Rob Dewan on guitar, Matt Higgins on bass, Maya Van Nuys on fiddle, Kevin Shermerhorn on drums and Andrea Wallace on backing vocals for a real R&B style rocker. The Push really shows the strength of McAllister's vocals and features solid vocal backing from Wallace. I particularly like Dewan's guitar work on this track. Something That Don't Cost A Dime has solid R&B roots with gospel fusion reinforced by the driving bass lines of Higgins and backing vocals by Wallace. Crappy Food, No Sleep, A Van and A Bunch Of Songs actually puts me in mind of Golden Earring in blue. With punctuation by McAllister on harp and backing vocals by Benita Aterberry-Burns, this track gets rockin'. I'm Like A Boomerang is one of my favorite tracks on the release with solid R&B feel and a strong melody. Very nice! Boogie track, You Lit The Dynamite, McAllister shares lead vocals with Arterberry-Burns and with Mike Morgan on bass, and Eric Smith on drums, Dewan rips a real nice guitar solo. Someone's Been There is a quiet ballad, primarily McAllister on vocal and Carson Wagner on keys. This track is well written and nicely performed. Bowling Pin is a fun, rolling train, gospel spirited track with flaming slide and driving organ by Wagner. Glass Half Full has it's R&B style reinforced nicely by Steve Howard on trumpet and Jeff Robbins on sax. With it's sassy rhythm, A Whole Lot Of Nothing gets you twisting in your seat and Dewan rips of a pretty nice solo over retro style vocals by McAllister and Aterberry-Burns on vocals. Hey Hooker has a swinging R&B style with strong lead and backing vocals. With some playful guitar and keyboard solo's this track rocks. Wrapping the release is Ninja Bout Cha, a funky rocker with some excellent slide riffs by Dewan and a cool organ side. This track has Zappa meets Allmans meets Edgar Winter. Pretty cool closer.

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