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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, December 29, 2017

M.C. Records artist: Duke Robillard - Duke and his Dames of Rhythm - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Duke and his Dames of Rhythm, by Duke Robillard and it's a mighty swing fest. Opening with From Monday On, Sunny Crownover has the floor, backed by Bruce Bears on piano, Brad Hallen on bass, Mark Teixeira on drums, Jon Erik Kellso on trumpet, Billy Novick on clarinet and alto sax, Carl Querfurth on trombone and of course Robillard on guitar. A bright prance, this track has super clarinet, strong guitar riffs, a powerful bass line and a particularly nice trombone solo by Querfurth. Maria Muldaur had the floor on Got The South In My Soul and again, powerful clarinet soloing by Novick and bright guitar riffs by the Duke really set it off. Kelley Hunt steps up to the mic on Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone, a solid blues ballad with solid vocals, jumping into swing time with Mark Earley's brilliant tenor sax solo. Kellso's trumpet work, Bears' piano work, another clarinet solo by Novick and a tight bass line from Hallen really give this track spank. Madeline Peyroux is a solid choice to deliver the sensuous vocal lines on Squeeze Me. Duke's guitar lines are tight, direct and rich providing a super contrast to the soulful soloing of Novick and the jazzy runs of Kellso. Very nice. Duke steps forward himself delivering perfect lead vocal on Walking Stick. This track has really nice instrumental lead work on it with particularly nice runs by Robillard, Andy Stein on violin and Kellso, with tight instrumental jazz jamming. Excellent! Catherine Russell has the lead on Blues In My Heart, surrounded by the bluesy muted horns of Kellso and Querfurth. On Easy Living, Peyroux has the lead over mild, jazz tones, warm sax harmony, simple piano and tight drums. Novick's tenor sax work on this track is particularly warm and rich and Kellso's trumpet is muted and solid. Ready For The River has a strong Dixieland jazz feel with brassy horns, mellow clarinet undertones and simple cadence. This one of my favorite tracks on the release with really nice balance. Wrapping the release is Call Of The Freaks, an instrumental track with a cool blend of trombone, clarinet, drums and piano stretching out to super guitar and muted trumpet soloing. Strong closer to an interesting release.

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