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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, November 18, 2016

Severn Records artist: Sugar Ray & The Bluetones - Seeing Is Believing - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Seeing Is Believing, from Sugar Ray & The Bluetones and I love it! Opening with Sweet Baby, Sugar Ray Norcia are dynamic and his harp playing fat. Anthony Geraci's piano work is tight and Monster Mike Welch sets a great groove, backed by Michael Mudcat Ward on bass and Neil Gouvin on drums. Great opener. Title track, Seeing Is Believing brings down the pace a bit and Monster Mike's guitar work is outrageously rich. Norcia's vocals are smooth as silk and the band is super. Absolutely excellent! With a cool lope, Noontime Bell strolls along giving Norcia the opportunity to set the bar on harp. Geraci's piano work is always solid and this track plays right into his hands with Welch laying back and watching...very nice. Keep On Sailing is another terrific track with a Muddy Waters feel. Norcia's vocals are super and his harp work solid. Geraci really digs in on this one and Monster Mike a giant. Excellent! Jumper, Blind Date, is just smoking! Norcia cranks it up from the first note and with strong support overall, Monster Mike cranks it up Texas style. Wow! Bringing down the pace a bit, BB King's You Know I Love You is a great opportunity for Monster Mike to play lead and just turn the phrase over and again. Terrific! With a bit of New Orleans blues, Misses Blues, has an almost falling down the stairs drum beat that really makes me like it. Light on instrumentation, Norcia tells the story backed by the crew and heavily saturated harp. Bluesy ballad, Not Me, has the cleanest vocals on the release with chorded guitar work and melodic, Stevie Wonder like harp styling. Got A Gal has a solid lope and Welch really pulls out the round guitar tones giving the track a very human sound. Norcia continues to confirm his vocal prowess cemented by his harp work. Sounding like it's right out of the Morganfield archives, Two Hundred Dollars Too Long, has a great feel. Norcia not only sets the vocal tone but his harp is very Chicago and Monster Mike has the slide tone cooked to a T. Excellent! Wrapping the release is It's Been A Long Time with continuous riffs from Welch and Geraci under the vocals. This is a continuous Chicago blues p[arty and one you wish would never end. Excellent release!

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