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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, March 9, 2016

Blue Elan Records artist: Janiva Magness - Love Wins Again - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Love Wins Again, from Janiva Magness and it has a strong soulful base. Her first release on Blue Elan Records opens with title track, Love Wins Again, a uptempo R&B style track showcasing the tight phrasing of Magness with nicely blended backing vocals and a radio hook. Real Slow has an infectious funky groove with slick guitar riffs and a solid bottom. Ballad, When You Hold Me has the pure sound of 60's R&B with nicely blended vocals. I really like the feel of this track and Magness parlays her soulful vocals into a super radio track with warm key backing by Arlan Schierbaum and stinging guitar riffs by Garret Deloian, Zach Zunis and Dave Darling. Say You Will is a prime radio track with an easy beat and a solid melody. Backing vocals by Brie Darling, Bernie Barlow, Gary Pinto and TJ Norton add considerable warmth and Phil Parlipiano on piano balances the solid bass lines of Gary Davenport and tight drum work of Matt Laug. Doorway is an mature ballad with all of the spotlight on Magness. Nicely tunes backing vocals and light guitar accompaniment rounds out this track. Moth To A Flame has a cool jazzy saunter with rich lower vocals under the lead and with Schierbaum on organ, a cool bass line by Davenport and slick guitar riffs, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Your House Is Burnin, is a high energy track with an almost James Brown structure but with a rock footprint. A stinging guitar riff on this track really fans the flames making this one a cooker. Just Another Lesson is a folk style ballad accompanied by acoustic. Nicely written and performed, very cool! Rain Down has strong potential for adult radio with it's somber attack and posture. Nicely presented with smooth instrumental articulation. John Fogherty's Long As I Can See The Light is my favorite track on the release and I believe the best showcase of Magness' vocal range. With a light country funk, similar to CCR's delivery, this track just hits it! Wrapping the release is Who Will Come For Me, a powerful ballad with shimmery guitar work and full coral style backing vocals. With warm sax work from Alfredo Ballesteros, this is a nice conclusion to a solid 1st release on Magness' new label.

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