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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, November 25, 2019

Little Village Foundation artist: The Mike Duke Project - ...Took A While - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, ...Took A While, from The Mike Duke Project and it's a soulful southern style release packed with musical elite. Opening with Little Miss Ponytail, a certain radio track, Mike Duke on lead vocal and piano leads the way with Bill Stewart on drums, Phil Yeager on bass, Ronnie Brown on guitar and Rick Kurtz on guitar. Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do features Duke with Jimmy Hall and the vocals are not only warm and solid but this is really a strong track. Let Me Be Your Fool Tonight is a real cool track with the addition of Lloyd Meadows, Angela Strehi  and Lisa Lueschner Andersen on backing vocal and featuring super accordion work by Bruce Gordon. I'm Not Sad Tonight sounds like it could be pulled right out of Van Morrison's songbook with distinct vocal phrasing and poise and the addition on Jim Pugh on B3. Very nice. Gospel flavored Torn & Scarred is Duke, accompanying his vocal lead on piano with  Andersen on bass. Short but very nice. I Can't Let You Go is a bluesy ballad with all the right notes. Certain radio compositional style and Elvin Bishop's trademark slide work makes this track a release favorite. Another soulful ballad, Coming 'Round Again is certainly one of my favorites on the release with some of Duke's best writing and vocals. Backed by Bill Connell on drums, Paul Hornsby on bass, Ray Honea on guitar Don Finney on sax, Larry Finney on trumpet and Roger Dennison on trombone, this track has real traction. Wrapping the release is Nicasio, a short piano track with Duke showing his stylistic chops. This is really a rich release on one to hear.

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