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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, February 10, 2016

Rockfold Records artist: Mick Clarke Band - Ruff 'n' Roar - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Ruff 'n' Roar from the Mick Clarke Band (Live at Scratchers) and it's hot! From the opening riff on the opening track, Elmore James' Happy Home, this release rips. Mick Clarke (guitar and vocal), joined by Chris Sharley (drums) and Eddie Masters (bass) really know how to crank it up. This band has the energy of early Savoy Brown or ZZ Top. What that means is endless boogie with flaming hot slide riffs! On Good Morning Blues, Clarke has his amp tuned in just right for that fat saturation and his riffs are thick. Masters keeps the blues vamp going an Sharley sets a tight bottom for a great romp. On Memphis Slim's Rockin' the Blues, MCB gets that Hooker electric boogie really cranking. This track was "made for" Stilladog. Showing his relentless slide attack, Clarke tears it up! Slowing it down just a little on 9 minute plus, Love Me Or Leave Me, gives the band a breather and solos, including a nice one from Masters and a tense one from Clarke are straightforward and solid. Very nice! Walking Blues, a classic by Mr Son House, gets an update and a solid bottom driver. Clarke blazes a red hot path with his slide guitar. Excellent! Bo Diddley style track, Little Rachel, has the advantage of not only an infectious beat but raw slide work. This is what bands want to sound like live! Cheap has that gritty early ZZ Top beat and that earthy, fat Billy Gibbons tone on guitar. I gotta tell you, there's hardly a serious guitar player on the planet that won't tell you that he admires Billy Gibbons tone and Clarke has it here. Excellent! Who doesn't love Hound Dog Taylor? Everybody loves Hound Dog Taylor. Give Me Back My Wig is a classic and Clark hits it here. He's not copping HDT's tone but he is tearing up the slide so if you are a slide blues freak like it up! Wrapping the release is Willie Dixon's You Need Love starting with a classic Hooker (Boom Boom ) riff and with Masters and Sharley driving like it's Radar Love. Clarke throws down every blue rock riff you've ever heard (and a few you haven't) in this intense 7 plus minute closer. This is one hell of a show and if this three piece band hits this town...I'm there!

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  1. Since this album is apparently one of the blog reader's favorites, I would suggest the Mick Clarke albums "Crazy Blues" and ESPECIALLY "The Instrumentals" which is absolutely incendiary!! This one is Ruff and Raw (being live and all) but those two will explode out of your speakers!!

    1. Thanks Dog!! Always a good ear!

    2. Always trying to point folks in the right direction. That's all.