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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 30, 2021

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - B's Testimony - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, B's Testimony, from Al Basile and it's a real cool mix of blues and jazz. Opening with Lucky Man, a lightly funky, New Orleans flavored track with loose drum rhythm by Mark Teixeira, Brad Hallen on bass and Bruce Bears on piano. Adding in a bit of rock to the blues on If All It Took Was Wishing, Basile on cornet works with Doug James and Doc Chanonhouse to get just the right sound. Funky blues, I'm Bad That Way features some real tasty guitar work from Kid Andersen under some of Basile's best vocals on the release as well as a real nice laid back cornet solo that flows perfectly. Horn backing by James and Chanonhouse give it just the right amount of soul. Andersen steps up early on Up Close And Personal Best with some real hot riffs and follows with some absolute stinging solo guitar lead and Basile's muted cornet soloing lays in the slot making this one of my favorites on the release. Shuffle, I Oughta Be Your Monkey, is a lot of fun with just Basile front and center on cornet and lead vocal and a cool interface between Andersen's fine guitar work and the horns of James and Chanonhouse. Very nice. Another tight guitar solo by Andersen highlights It's Your Pain. Kid blends chickin pickin styling with bluesy approach, Basile's own laid back cornet solo laid in and the rich organ work of Bears tying it all together.  On Through Thick and Thin Andersen really gets loose on guitar and if you've never heard that, it's an absolute joy. The guy really can play and he's really inventive. He swings from riff to riff with wreckless abandon and blows the top off of this one. Excellent! Built around a similar musical theme as "A Thrill Is Gone" Would I Do That To You?, is a great R&B shaped blues number. Basile leads on vocal with horn response by James and Chanonhouse. This track is a real sweet showcase of his cornet work and again resolves with Andersen just slaying the guitar. His bends, mixed with his (what sounds like) whammy vibrato is off the hook. Soft horn backing by James and Chanonhouse really add warmth for a strong finish. Wrapping the release is He Said, She Said, a low slung blues number with a real nice piano display by Bears and solid vocals by Basile leading to another hot guitar solo by Andersen. Basile closes the show with a poised cornet solo line. Really cool release. 

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Couldn't find a video for the release but here's one anyway with Al and Kid:


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