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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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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Blues Kitty Music artist: Liz Mandeville - The Stars Motel - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, The Stars Motel, from Liz Mandeville and it has a real nice flow. Opening with Too Hot For Love, Liz Mandeville is up front on lead vocals with Scott Ellison on lead guitar, Matt Kohl on bass, Robbie Armstrong on drums and Joan Gand on B3. With a more relaxed BB King kind of feel, Blues Is My Boss features Dario Lombardo on lead guitar with Mandeville handling lead guitar and lead vocal. Matt Cartwright sets a deliberate bass line and Andy Sutton is tight on drums. With a New Orleans feel, Everybody Knew But Me, has a great rhythm with Heather Tackett Faludo on bass, Steve Hart on tuba n Alex Leong on trombone and Jim Godsey on percussion. Very cool! Quiet ballad, One Dance, is soulful and has great horn bass featuring Jeannie Tannec on trumpet, Johnny Cotton on sax Charlie Kimble on sax. Gand's B3 work really beefs up the middle and Minoru Maruyama, guitar work gives the track sting almost sounding like a Muscle Shoals track. On Try Me Mandeville gets a great soul feel going backed by Rachelle Coba and Andy Sutton. Gand's Piano work is spot on developing a great swing with Faludo and Sutton's lines. Mandeville lays out some real nice lower octave guitar riffs that set the track apart. Truth has a great chugging rhythm not unlike a cool Al Green track. Darryl Wright's bass line really sets this and Mandeville's vocals ride it. Harp work by Dizzy Bolinsky adds really nice texture and guitar work by Maruyama and Mandeville ices it. Dario Lombardo's Reefer and a Glass of Wine is a super swing track featuring Doug Deming on lead guitar. A really swinging sax solo by Charlie Kimble seems to fuel Deming's guitar work and sassy trombone work by Cotton makes this one of my favorites on the release. Slower blues ballad, What Could Have been is the best showcase for Mandeville's voice. Matt Kohl sets a solid bass bottom and Gand's B3 work caress the soulful guitar lead by Mandeville. River Of Blood has a swampy sound with heavier vocal lines by Mandeville and fluid guitar lines by Coba. Wrapping the release is swing track, What Do Blues Men Like? with really slick guitar lines by Ellison and really rich vocals by Mandeville. Jon Parris on bass and Sutton on drums tops a great closer for a solid release.
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