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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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Monday, August 26, 2019

Ruf Records artist: Michael Lee - Self titled - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent self titled release by Michael Lee and it's terrific! Opening with Heart of Stone, a rumbling blues rocker, guitarist/lead vocalist, Michael Lee sets a great pace. With a strong swagger, anchored by Scott Lee on bass, Colin Campbell on B3 and Blaine Crews, Michael has it going here, backed by Preston Lewis on sax, and Evan Templeton and Jordan Carr on trumpet. Super opener. On soulful ballad, Don't Leave Me, Lee really gets the chance to show how great a vocalist he is with warm backing and Charley Wiles' blues guitar riffs topping it off. very nice. My absolutely favorite track on the track is deep drenched soul track, This Is with great vocal phrasing and harmonies and electrifying guitar work by Lee. I really like this release, but this track alone could carry a release. Excellent! Can't Kick You is a super radio track with a strong story line and a definite radio (shuffle) beat. Lee's rework of BB King's trademark song maintains a lot of the original soul of the original track, but adding a rock bass line and his own signature vocal and guitar style. Very nice. Another soulful ballad, Here I Am really showcases Lee's vocals again with strong horn support from Templeton and Carr. Another candidate for radio track and favorite track on the release. Having may favorites is a strong indication of an evenly strong release. Wrapping the release is bass driven rocker, Go Your Own Way starting out slow and deliberate and then double timing it with rock guitar riffs before bringing it back down a really hammering it on guitar. This is a really cool closer for a really strong release. 

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