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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 22, 2017

VizzTone Label Group artist: Casey Hensley - Live - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, live, from Casey Hensley and it's smokin'. Opening with Big Mama Thornton's, Big Mama's Coming Home, Hensley grinds right into it with gritty vocals and a big presence. Backed by Evan Caleb Yearsley on drums, Johnny Viau on sax and Marcos C on bass this band is first class. I really want to point out that this release features Laura Chavez and I mean it features her. Chavez has always carries a big hammer but this first track has made me a big fan. Chavez really tears it up, reminding me of the style of one of my favorite contemporary players, Rockin' Johnny Burgin and that is a huge endorsement. On original track, Put Your Lovin' Where It Belongs, Hensley digs in her heals vocally with a lot of heft.  Again, Chavez is hot on her heels hot, tasty riffs. A slow grinder with teeth. Classic, You Can Have My Husband, has a cool shuffle feel and again, right with Hansley's front work is Chavez smoking the strings... think Funderburgh. Viau sits in with a fat solo of his own giving the track a wailing kick in the back.  Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You is always a welcome favorite and Hensley shares the spotlight with Viau with a cool sax solo. Made famous by Elvis, Hard Headed Woman is a real rocker with a hot solo by Viau and super rockabilly riffs by Chavez. Excellent! Willie Dixon's I Just Want To Make Love To You has a real nice swing to it with some of the best vocals on the track and a free wheelin' guitar solo by Chavez. Very cool. Excellent jump original, Hot! Hot! Hot! really gets you shit moving with a tight bottom by Yearsley and Marcos but it's Hensley's enthusiasm and flaming guitar riffs that makes this track cool! Excellent! Koko Taylor's Voodoo Woman has a real nice funk to it again showcasing Chavez's cookin' style. This track has a great groove and I gotta say I'm glad I'm giving you something this hot before the holiday! Wow! Johnny Guitar Watson's Too Tired has a real nice groove and again Chavez steps up with incredible style. Hensley pounds it out with pro quality and teamed with Viau on sax and with Chavez...oh yeah! Wrapping the release is another Big Mama track, Ball and Chain. Now I gotta tell you, it's hard to beat Big Mama's original and equally hard to compare with Janis' version of this track, but this is a great closer. Clocking over 9 minutes, Hensley gives it her all and Chavez through an extended solo her incredible patience to build intensity slowly until ultimate eruption...I mean goose bumps. Excellent closer for a super release.

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