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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 16, 2016

Delmark artist: Guy King - Truth - New release review

I just received the newest release, Truth, from Guy King and it's exciting! Opening with Ray Charles' The Same Thing That Can Make You Laugh (Can Make You Cry) and it's a roller coaster ride of light funky jazz with excellent vocal from Guy King who is a terrific guitar player throwing down Albert King like riffs and continuously punched by a dynamic horn section of Marques Carroll on trumpet, Christopher Neal on tenor sax, Brent Griffin Jr. on bari sax and carried on the shoulders of Amr Marcin Fahmy on keys, Jake Vinsel on bass and George Fludas on drums. King really digs in on guitar, making this track sing and Sarah Marie Young, Kiara Shakleford and Jihan Murray-Smith add nice backing vocals for a really powerful sound. Title track, Truth, takes a more mellow track with cool Latin rhythms. Raspy, neck gripping guitar soloing contrasting against light Brazilian jazz like backing vocals makes for a very enjoyable ride. Stepping more into a 50's club style on My Happiness, King shares the lead vocal with Young and with light drums and horn punctuation, this track should easily get a lot of airplay. Fluid jazzy guitar runs will make you sit back in your seat and smile as King just fingers along. Very nice! Johnny Guitar Watson's, It's About The Dollar Bill, retains 99% of JGW's original funky groove and with punchy horns and the sassy cross talk, hits the road running. King definitely has his own guitar style but the influence of JGW is definitely there and this track is a great addition to the mix. Slow blues number, A Day In The Life With The Blues, demonstrates very clearly that King is a super vocalist, delivering excellent phrases that rival his guitar riffs... and that really is saying something. Percy Mayfield's Cookin' In Style, with it's walking bass line has a definite strut. Fahmy takes a real nice Rhodes solo and Fludas' hi hat work is tight. Carroll steps up with a clean trumpet solo inviting King to take a long walk and he's doesn't balk at the invite. Blending rock and jazz styles with a blues factor makes for a real nice match with horn punctuation. Very cool! Steve Cropper's See Saw has a definite R&B feel with high stepping drive and BB King influenced guitar riffs and horns and backing vocals riding high. Ray Charles', Hey Now, has a great strut with the horns setting stage. King really does show his strength again on vocal with this "big band" style backing and giving his the chance to really rip his guitar solos out of a more mellow backing. Deep throaty guitar riffs really set them apart and the high runs at times make your necks hairs stand on end. Excellent! On classic jazz number, I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues, the band really plays swing time and King sets right back in the groove with a blues approach to a still jazz attack. This is really appealing taking it to the next level. Doc Pomus and Dr John penned, There Must Be A Better World Somewhere, has the real feel of Dr John and the vocal style is all King, but definitely BB King influenced. This is a really styling track with warm sax embrace. King delivers the goods again on this track and the release continues to build a solid continuity that is rarely found on any release. Shuffle track, King Thing, is built around a simple low fret riff with key dressing and simple drums. The horns start to pop in with punctual essence and King really just makes the guitar sing. This track is smoking! Really!! BB King's Bad Case Of Love has an almost Freddie King feel with it's twist rock beat. Griffin Jr. steps up with a really solid bari sax solo blowing the doors off and King returns to trade riffs, joined by Young, Shackleford and Murray-Smith giving this track a hot sixties blues sound. Percy Mayfield's, Something's Wrong, gets the straight soul treatment with almost SRV style guitar riffs providing excellent contrast to an otherwise somber track. Albert King's, If The Washing Don't Get You (The Rinsing Will), actually has fresh riffs with a lot more roundness than sting. There is still definitely Albert's influence, but it is certainly not a Albert redo. This is a solid blues track with great riffs. Wrapping the release is a pop soul track, One Hundred Ways with a light jazzy base. George Benson comes to mind when I try to describe the guitar style. This is a really solid release with only a few very minor weaknesses (which I can rarely say). Check this out of you can take a stroll on the jazzy side of blues. It's absolutely worth it!

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  1. This is a fantastic album for those who like their blues on the jazzy side or jazz on the bluesy side (depending on your point of view). I also highly recommend his earlier 2008 album Livin' It. Both are terrific!