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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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Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Mercedes Nicole - Constellation - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Constellation, from Mercedes Nicole, one of Seattle top performers. Opening with Ellington's I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues, Nicole on lead vocal shows her own styling on the cover, with a real nice piano solo by Jake Sele and backed by Kevin McCarthy who put up a solid bass solo, D'Vonne Lewis on drums and a cool trumpet solo by Jay Thomas. On lively shuffle, Your Love, Nicole really seems to float on the music Evan Flory-Barnes on bass, Sele on organ, Lewis on drums and Jerry Wirkkala on guitar. An interesting take on BB King's The Thrill Is Gone is my favorite track on the release with a sway rhythm with strong solos from Sele on organ, Craig Hoyer on piano, and Flory-Barnes on bass and Lewis on drums. Ballad, This Bitter End is Nicole's best vocal showcase on the release, also being the track with the most commercial potential with the addition of Yun-En Liu on violin and cool piano backing by Sele. Wrapping the release is Johnny Mercer's Candy with it's smooth club feel. Nicole really gets into the groove on this one and Sele's piano work along with Thomas'  sax lead makes this an excellent closer.


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