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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, April 13, 2016

Big Jake Records artist: Paul Filipowicz - Rough Neck Blues Live! - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Rough Neck Blues Live!, from Paul Filipowicz and I really like it! A few years back I reviewed another release by Filipowicz, Saints and Sinners and this release, being live, gives Paul an opportunity to take an already great formula and blow it out and that he does. Opening with shuffle track, Gambling Woman, Filipowicz is cranking with his trademark raw vocals and rowdy guitar riffs. Backed by Rick Smith on bass and Brian "Tito" Howard on drums, this is a hot opener! Most Dogs is up next and Filipowicz brings down the tempo but not the heat. His guitar phrasing is masterful and engaging with traces of Magic Sam, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy. Black Spider is a blues rocker with a solid bottom. Chuck Berry like construction but with less spring and more blues is complimented by Benny Rickun on harp. Slowing things way down, Santa Fe Windows is a hot potato with really hot, Albert King like phrasing but without King trademark riffs. Smokey guitar attack and honest vocals make this a scary cool track. Hi energy, Junk In The Trunk, visits Freddy King territory with a really cool shuffle. With a little Bo Diddley injection, this track rocks out. Excellent! Jackson Transfer has a hard Chicago edge and Muddy Waters feel. Filipowicz's vocals on this track are particularly cool and with a slack sounding guitar rhythm and super cool harp on the top by Rickun, this track has legs. Breaking into a clean, electric solo run, Filipowicz shows patience and taste. Very nice! Midnight At The Nairobi Room has a super bottom with a diminishing bass line by Smith and a seductive drum rhythm by Howard. His own guitar work is excellent with wide vibrato further adding to the tension which is ultimately broken into a cool instrumental shuffle. Excellent! Chickenwire steps up with a cool rockin' boogie featuring a blend of call and response between vocals, guitar and harp. With it's solid drive...Hooker's hard not to love and when Filipowicz opens up the guns, he shows he knows the ropes! Your True Lovin' has the feel of Waters, Winter and Rush. A great Chicago style blues number, Filipowicz shows his positive mastery of this style. His guitar tone is warm and radiant and his phrasing really nice. Excellent! My favorite track on the release, Hootin' and Hollerin' is an excellent loose jam with a blend of everything that I liked about TJ White's Polk Salad Annie and CCR with the raw honesty of Jimbo Mathus. This track is excellent! Wrapping the release is Where The Blues Comes From has a solid R&B bottom reinforced by Rickun on harp. Jamming out for over 8 minutes Filipowicz has an engaging voice and trading riffs with Rickun, makes this a super closer for a really strong release!

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