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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 16, 2021

Mascot Records artist: The Cold Stares - Heavy Shoes - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Heavy Shoes, from The Cold Stares, and it's a solid hard rocker. Opening with heavy bottomed, Heavy Shoes, and it's as solid a rocker as you'll hear. With it's crisp drum snap by Brian Mullins and growly guitar line and vocal by Chris Tapp it's a solid opener. 40 Dead Men kicks up the pace but the dark, heavy vibe is ever present and cool. It's hard to believe that all of this sound is coming from 2 guys. Hard Times is another solid track with a strong guitar vamp and heavy drums. Strange Light is a more Zep like rocker with a great lead drum focus. Tapp's guitar isn't really flashy, staying primarily on the lower frets but this is some powerful stuff. He breaks loose on lead guitar but again, not running up the fretboard to deliver his lead. Very cool. Prosecution Blues is heavy and lumbering but right down the middle of the blues highway. Delivery is still fat and driven... a really nice approach. Mullins really works the drum kit and Tapp thins out his tone a bit with screaming attack. It's A Game flips over to a funky, James Brown rhythm with Mullins driving the train and Tapp playing great accent riffs against his own vocal. These guys have that two man formula down to a real science. Another track with that special, Bonham, type rhythm is Election Blues. Don't get me no time does this band sound like Zep but the hot drum attack works really well with Tapp's aggressive vocal style and underplayed guitar work. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Dust In My Hands turns back to the more metal driven, harder work of the beginning of the release with a dark bottom, tight drums and Tapp's soaring guitar soloing and vocal styling gives this track a good weight for a closer. 

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