I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blind Raccoon and NOLA Blue Collection Vol. 4, and it's a solid mix of blues and rock tracks. Opening with blues rocker, Sorry, Mark Cameron shows solid vocals, slide guitar and harmonica carrying a radio worthy melody. Funky blues rocker, Devil in the Dark is a cool entry by Michele D' Amour & The Love Dealers. With strong organ support and cool guitar and sax solos, this track has a laid back feel. Trudy Lynn covers a Bluesbusters' track, If Your Phone Don't Ring and with just the right strut, and blues attitude, this is one of my favorites on the release. Wily Bo Walker's I Want To Know has a real nice R&B feel with interwoven bass, guitar and keyboard backing under Walker's infectious lead and backing vocals. Very nice. Super shuffle, Back Door Woman Blues by the Waydown Wailers sets a nice pace with strong vocals and a cool piano/guitar exchange. David Gogo sets up a simple guitar shuffle on Never Gonna Change. His vocals are clean and his slide playing clean and tight. Slow blues vocals on Firebreather by Skylar Rogers stand tall on side one backed by crisp guitar soloing over a potent bottom. Straight up blues track, Hard Times Coming by David Rotundo Band features really nice vocal, slide and harmonica delivered straight. Very nice. Throwing a curveball is Dick Van Dyke, yes, 95 year old Dick Van Dyke singing Is You Or Is You Ain't My Baby. He really does a nice job, backed by a fully big band and a tight rhythm section. Very cool. Piano boogie, Party In The Room Next Door - Live In Calgary is a strong entry by David Vest with potent piano and guitar solos over a beefy walking bass line. Johnny Tucker shows his guitar sting on Do The Rufus, a funky blues with attitude. Backed by punchy horns, Tucker's vocals are great. Idaho Bound is a strong, Southern Rock style jam with all of the characteristics of the Allmans. Driving rhythm and bass, dual lead guitars, and tight drums make this entry by The Mary Jo Curry Band another standout. Teresa James and the Rhythm Tramps perform Takes On To Know One with great vocals, punchy horns, heavy bass and Anson Funderburgh on guitar. Wrapping the release is acoustic guitar driven, This Old Road, a nice ballad by Trevor B. Power. With nicely blended vocal mix and acoustic guitars, a solid closer for this 4th Collection Volume.
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