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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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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Checkerboard Lounge Recordings artist: John Fusco and the X-Road Riders - John The Revelator - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, John The Revelator, from John Fusco and the X-Road Riders and it's an interesting mix of country folk blues. Opening with traditional blues track, and title track, John The Revelator, with a modern yet raw spin. With leader Fusco on lead vocal and keys, Cody Dickinson on drums, bass and dobro, Risse Norman on vocal and Sarah Morrow on trombone, a solid opener. Shuffle track, Bone Deep opens up with a bit more rock, featuring Magic Mark Lavoie on harp, Dickinson on guitar and some cool Hammond work from Fusco. Ophelia (Oh, I Feel Ya) is one of my favorite tracks on the release. A curious little ballad mostly Fusco on lead vocal, accompanying himself on keys. A radio designed track that could easily be Harry Nilsson or Randy Newman. Very nice. Slow Blues, Bad Dog, showcases some of Fusco's best vocals on the release with Dennis Diego laying down a solid bass line and Spencer Perry on drums. Lavoie's soulful harmonica lead on this track, complimented with firm guitar lead by Kurt Pierson makes this another standout track. A track with a lot of radio appeal is Jacqueline with it's top melody, hip hop delivery and smooth lead guitar. Another of my favorites is Hottest Part Of The Flame with it's Latin rhythm. This track has a seductive feel with lush vocals, and terrific interweaving of horn work by Baby J, Josh Klinger, Dan Alario,  and really nice slide work by Dickinson. Wrapping the release is The Sun Also Rises, another track with radio appeal and a strong melody. Vocal lead and piano accompanied, with clean guitar lead under the melody and rich backing vocals by Brickett Bailey, Cassandra Machia, Julia Simons and Rosalie Wasser. 

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