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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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Monday, September 26, 2016

Hard Swimmin' Fish - True Believer - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, True Believer, from Hard Swimmin' Fish and it's really cool. Opening with title track, True Believer, Demian Lewis is on guitar creating a real dirty sound that has a great groove. A swampy bluesy track that really hits on the spot supported by Waverly Milor on vocal and harp, Jason Walker on drums, Randy Ball on bass and John Sharrer on organ. On funky, Five Years Hard Labor, HSF produces a raw sound with a lot of grit. A rocky kind of sound...I really like it! No Shortage Of The Blues is a nice blues rocker with an almost Steppenwolf swagger and caressed by harp. Lewis plays flashy but unassuming solos and Ball's bass work it tight. Howlin' Wolf's Howlin' For My Darlin' has just a touch more rock than the Wolf version, complimented by a rock beat by Walker and guitar riffs by Lewis. Cool! Ooh, That Was Close has a rockabilly jazz feel with fluid but dirty guitar riffs. On Love Me Or You Don't, Lewis gets a real nice roll going on guitar with an almost Stevie Ray sound but with less flash. Interesting and effective. On country trek, Come Together, the track is a bit more freewheelin' and Lewis' slide style shows influence by Johnny Winter. Very cool. Need Your Love So Bad is a classic blues number and done in classic style, stripped down with solid bass work by Ball and soothing organ work by Sharrer under the soulful vocals of Milor. Lewis takes a real nice guitar solo on this track giving the track a nice edge. Get Gone has an interesting feel with light rim shots by Walker and Milor on harp. With a bass solo interlude this track glides along and Lewis' guitar solo is smooth. Very nice! Easy rocker, Once Upon A Time, gives Lewis the mic with almost spoken lyrics and Lewis and Milor trading riffs. Interesting. Up tempo blues, Mess Around, maintains much of it's original structure with nimble fingered guitar riffs and lively vocals. Milor's harp work is classic blues work giving this track solid blues footing. Wrapping the release is Don't Let The Devil Ride with nice acoustic bass work under a lead vocal. Rocking out, the track has a cool back beat and understated slide work giving the track a cool feel. Milor's harp work with more pronounced slide work in the solo interlude says it all. This is a cool, understated release with a lot to offer. Check it out.

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