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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, January 31, 2018

Pioneer Productions artist: Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers - Usual Suspects - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Usual Suspects, from Lex Grey and the Urban Pioneers and it's solid. Opening with title track, Usual Suspects, power vocalist, Lex Grey blends a reggae beat with overdriven guitars and rock drama to create a unique sound. Backed by Vic Mix on guitars, Kala Updike on bass,Walter Tates Jr. on sax, and John Holland on drums, this band shows versatility. Country rocker, Chow Down, has a driving rock rhythm by Mix and Brian Dewan on piano and accordion, a romping bass line by Per Berquist but with just a touch of country. Blues ballad, Dirty Secret has a lot of the power and style of Big Brother and the SF blues rock style thanks not only to Grey's vocals but Dewan, Holland and Updike. Sonny Boy Williamson style blues rocker SRV is really pumped up with rock power by a grinding guitar line by Mix and frantic sax work by Walter Tates Jr. Boogie rocker, My Jellyroll has a great bottom thanks to Updike and Holland with garage style vocals and smoky harp by Rick Surrano Sr. on harp. Wrapping the release is Latin flavored, Renegade Heart. With it's solid bass line by Updike, sax work by Tates and the cool addition of Foggy Otis on ukulele, capped by a slick guitar solo by Mix, this is a nice closer to an interesting release.

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