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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 1, 2016

JAC Records artist: Lee Delray - Brand New Man - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Brand New Man, from Lee Delray and it's got guts. I don't mean it is doing something gutsy, but that it is rugged and guttural...! Opening with Blues rocker, Meet My Maker, Lee Delray is upfront and leading the charge on lead vocal and slide guitar. Backed by Scott Ward on bass and Ken Conklin on drums these guys have a take no prisoners attitude. Very cool. Classic blues track, I'll Play The Blues For You, maintains it cool funky groove but has a fresh new appeal. Delray's vocals are super and Ward's bass line is spot on. Delray's guitar soloing on this track is spontaneous and really bluesy. Showing a scorching hot rock attack, Blues Came Callin' has a cockiness that is hard to ignore. Delray's call and response vocals and guitar riffs are solid and effective. Lively R&B track, Love Line, puts me in mind of a terrific track by Tyrone Davis and this track is every bit as effective. Melodic guitar runs by Delray give the track just the right amount of spank to give it a rock edge. I really like the approach on Cookin' In My Kitchen, a slower blues number with references to Robert Johnson's track. With warm jazzy chords under the melody and sassy vocals leading the way, Ward and Conklin create the tension as Delray dances through on guitar and vocal. Very nice! Elmore James style track, Hollar, is one of my favorite tracks just because of it's Hound Dog Taylor style rawness. With fat slide work and an easy blues tempo, this track kicks ass! Shuffle track, Gotcha, has a real nice feel with tight guitar riffs swinging back and forth between blues and rock n roll. Excellent track! With it's framework coming from Junior Wells but with an overlying rock feel, Mine All Mine is an interesting blend of blues and rock. The rhythm guitar riff anchors it in the blues and the vocals and lead guitar take it for a walk. Very nice. Ballad, Yesterday's Tears, ventures into country territory with it's quiet demeanor, simple rhythm and the quiet harmonica work of Mike "Sweetharp" Smith and acoustic guitar work by Lenny Hayden. Delray lays out a real sweet melodic guitar run in the track giving it additional traction but it is the radio track on the release. Wrapping the release is Son House's Grinnin' In Your Face, performed by Delray totally acapella. It starts off in a distance and then becomes more clear and current as it grows. This is a cool track to conclude the release which draws an interesting parallel between the traditional and the contemporary.

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