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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, March 24, 2016

Jon Spear Band - Live Music Is Better - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Live Music Is Better from Jon Spear Band and it's a rocker. Opening with Devil's Highway the band shows it's spunk with Dara James on lead guitar and vocals, Jon Spear on rhythm guitar, bass by Andy Burdetsky and drums by John Stubblefield. Michael McDonald and Robben Ford's, Nothing To Nobody has a real nice R&B feel with James' vocals hitting spot on. Special guest Adrian Duke on B3 adds a nice touch and guitar solos by James and Spear are slick. Shake Your Boogie is a great track with a cool walking bass line under the track and harp by James. Spear takes the lead on vocal and guitar and spikes it. Special guest Haywood Giles lays down a hot sax solo and Duke jams the piano. Hot! Before The Bullets Fly has a cool Albert King rhythm and James' vocals are cool. Spears and James share lead guitar duty on this one giving it a cool kick. Classic funk track, Sissy Strut is up next and the guys do get down. James and Spear each take healthy guitar solos, Giles really gets the sax working, Duke works the B3 over and Burdetsky drives the bass hard. Very nice! James opens, Have You Ever Loved A Woman with a sweet guitar intro over lush chords by Spear. His vocals are silky and smooth and Burdetsky's bass is rock solid. Clocking in at over 8 minutes the guys really work this one over. Very nice! Laid back ballad, Old Soul features James' vocals nicely and Giles blows a real nice sax solo over hot rhythm by Stubblefield. An almost Eric Clapton like guitar solo by James takes the track to it's peak and then back for an solid ending. Delbert McClinton's country rocker, Blues About You Baby comes out swinging with Spear on lead vocal and guitar. I like it's raw edge and rough and tumble feel. With Speak pickin and James sliding this track may be my favorite on the release. I Love My Skin has a great New Orleans feel. With real nice sax work by Giles and lead vocals and super piano by Duke, this track is way cool! With a humble country approach, Paid In Full is a cool ballad with solid vocals and melodic guitar soloing. Very nice! With a bit of rock and a bit of R&B, Beginner at the Blues has warm guitar riffs and real nice vocals by James over tight rhythm guitar and solid bass work, all tied together by Stubblefield making for a cool radio track. Wrapping the release is shuffle track Live Music Is Better. A walking bass line by Burdetsky, cool piano by Duke and tight drums by Stubblefield sets a cool stage for James and Spear to sing and jam. A cool conclusion for a solid live release.
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