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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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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Donald Ray Johnson and Gas Blues Band - Bluesin' Around - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Bluesin' Around, from Donald Ray Johnson and Gas Blues Band and it's a different approach to the blues. Opening with BB King track, Bad Luck, Donald Ray Johnson gets the shuffle going leading on vocals and joined by Gaspard Ossikian on guitar, Pierre Cayla on guitar, Philippe Scemama on bass and Yannick Urbani on drums. The solid horn work of Samuel Dumont on sax and Nicolas Gardel on trumpet add to the original King feel and Daniel Antoine on Hammond super charges it. Joe Louis Walker's Bluesifyin' is up next and Johnson hit's his stride on vocals. With firm bass work by Scemama and tight guitar riffs from Gas and Cayla, this track hits the mark. Willie Dixon's Ain't Superstitious gets a cool remake with a rolling bass riff and altered guitar riff. This is one of my favorite tracks on the release clean guitar riffs and blues intentions. Philip Walker's Ninety Proof is a super slow blues with horn backing. Antoine's Hammond sets the track off nicely and lead guitar work by Gas and Cayla as well as a cool solo by Gardel on trumpet really sets this track off. Another Philip Walker track, Big Rear Window, benefits nicely from a solid rolling bass line and easy rhythm guitar line. Johnson's relaxed vocals and lead guitar riffs blend nicely. A Taste Of Honey's R&B track, Distant pushes out the envelope a bit with a funky bottom and wah wah guitar but it's groove is cool. Nat Dove's She's Dressing Trashy, follows a standard 12 bar format and gives Gas and Cayla each a nice stretch on lead guitar. High stepping, Should've Been Gone, is really cool with soulful sax lead by Dumont. This is a really cool track and another of my favorites on the release with a stiff, bluesy guitar solo hitting it. Wrapping the release is Lucky Peterson's shuffle, You're The One For Me. No Peterson track would be complete without cool organ and swinging BB King like guitar riffs make this a nice closer for an interesting release.

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