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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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Friday, August 26, 2016

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - Mid-Century Modern - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Mid-Century Modern, from Al Basile and he's spot on. Sporting a who's who of musicians, Basile mixes blues, funk, rock and jazz for a real Mid-Century experience. Opening with Keep Your Love, Where's My Money, a slick new Orleans style track with a cool back beat, Basile and his crew, Rich Lataille, Duke Robillard, Bruce Bears, Doug James, Monster Mike Welch, Mark Teixeira and Brad Hallen set the club scene nicely. Basile sets a real nice table on cornet, complimenting his vocals and super stylized piano by Bears makes this track sing. Funky, Like You or Despise You, has a cool trumpet vamp by Jeff "Doc" Channonhouse and over a nice bass line by Hallen, Basile lays out a really cool cornet riff and Monster Mike's guitar work is slick. On Midnight Blue Persuasion, a straight R&B groove, Basile presents some of the top vocals on the release. This track has a real nice feel, like R&B from the 60's with his own cornet work on showcase. Tickle My Mule is a clever track with innuendo and I really like Monster Mike's guitar work on this track. Excellent! Really getting into the Louis Jordan swing thing , I've Gotta Have Meat, is  great track and the band is really cooking. Rich Lataille and Doug James really shine on this track with hot sax work. Funky, Like A Woman, , Like A Man features Duke Robillard screaming hot on guitar with Albert King like riffs. I love King and this track is hot! Blank Dog has a really nice groove with saxes a blazing and snappy drum work by Mark Teixeira. Nice trumpet work by Doc and excellent guitar riffs compliment Basile's soulful cornet work making this another super track. Shuffle track, Carry These Blues has great warmth and sports great vocals and cornet work by Basile, nice trumpet work by Doc, essential piano backing and some real nice guitar riffs by Welch. Swampy, No Truth To The Rumor, rides heavy on the back of Hallen, with Bears laying in some terrific piano lines and Basile's cornet hot spots. On light shuffle, Listen To The Elders,  Basile goes down more of a big band path with trumpet and sax work taking a stronger spot. James' work on bari sax is really hot and I always love Bruce Bears work on everything he does. Basile has a real nice hand with his cornet laying in just the right amount of seasoning. Soul track, Night Crossing, has strong radio bones with a funky bottom compliments of Hallen. Big Trees Falling is really nice and funky and Hallen is setting the pace. With Doc hitting the trumpet on rhythm, Basile steps up on cornet taking lead. Welch rips some really fat riffs over Bears clever piano riffs giving the track some really traction. Wrapping the release is Lie Under The House with Me, a quiet jazz track with an almost Miles feel. Basile takes some of his best horn rides on this track and Robillard sets up for a slam of his own on this one with nicely articulated guitar work. Calm and soulful, a nice closer for a different taste of blues.
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