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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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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cleopatra Records artist: Big Jay McNeely - Honkin' & Jivin' At The Palomino - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Honkin' & Jivin' At The Palomino, from Big Jay McNeely and it's hot! Kicking down the door on the opener, Palomino Hop, McNeely has flames coming from his horn, backed by Marty Rifkin on pedal steel, Steve von Gelder on fiddle, Dale Watson on guitar, Ronnie Mack on guitar, Keith Rosier on bass and Billy Block on drums. Excellent! On Don Gibson's, I Can't Stop Loving You, McNeely set out a soulful rendition not unlike Ray Charles own arrangement.  Pretty Girls Everywhere has a cool, sixties twist, beach sound with fiddle work by Gelder, Steel by Rifkin and Big Jay on vocal and sax. Shuffle track, Honky Tonk has extended instrumental lead from McNeely and Gelder plus a great pounding return. Very cool.  Bluesy, Young Girl Blues is set deep with the best vocals by McNeely, and balanced soloing throughout. Wrapping the release is Big Jay Shuffle, and excellent closer with Big Jay honkin' out with swift pace. A crisp steel solo by Rifkin, guitar solo's by Watson and Mack and Gelder's fiddle work add nicely but this is the Big Jay show and he's playing it to the max. Super.

Also included is a DVD of the show. Looking forward to seeing it at home!

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