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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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Showing posts with label Balkun Brothers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Balkun Brothers. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dixiefrog Records artists: Balkun Brothers - Self Titled - New release review

I just received the newest release, Balkun Brothers by the Balkun Brothers and it is raw, bluesy and rowdy. Opening with Been Drivin', the Balkun Brothers do have a driving beat and with over the top drumming by Rick Balkun, a solid guitar base and single lead lines by Steve Balkun, these guys set high expectations (think stripped down blues version of Golden Earring). I Know What Ya' Did has a boogie bottom and heavy feet along with nicely blended vocals and tidy slide playing. These guys have something here that you gotta hear! She Got It All has a real strong guitar riff that sets the stage and solid vocals with a sound like Steppenwolf had a baby with the Stripes or the Keys. Steve's guitar work is flamboyant but contained in context maintaining a hard blues line with great vocals. Control Yourself leans strongly toward contemporary 2 piece blues rock bands and has a great sound with tight vocals and essential drum and guitar riffs. Excellent! Cold Heart is a solid rocker with roots deep in the blues. With trace guitar riffs like an early Tony Iommi this track has a heaviness to it that hits home. Rick's drumming gets splashy and brings up the tension. Very nice! Pawn Shop is a serious rocker along the lines of a Don Nix track with a infectious groove. Steve hits the slide and Rick's drumming is super. Very cool! Johnny Winter's Mean Town Blues maintains much of the feel and spontaneity of Johnny's original cut. A serious blues rocker handled respectfully and with passion! The brothers grind it out making it a highly enjoyable jam. The Painkillers has a solid blues rock bottom with the drive of an early 70's band but with a much more raw and modern approach. With drum rhythms not unlike John Bonham and the unstructured guitar soloing, this band is breathing new life into the genre. Bapadubap is a cool, jazzy, funky track with it's title describing it's rhythm. With a soulful vocal lead and a rich drum pattern, this track is hard not to love. A funky, heavy lumbering track with fever laden guitar and hard hitting drums and super vocals. Basic blues track, Jail Bird, has raspy vocals and prime Muddy Waters style guitar riffs. Addition of piano by Dave Keys adds a Paul Raymond flavor and Steve really hits the slide on the money. One of my release favorites! Storm For The Devil is a blues based rocker with fullness unexpected of a two piecer. Steve's slide style is unique and fat and Rick's drumming is concise and heavy. Great combination. Wrapping the release is Rainy Day Front Porch Blues a primitive blues with foot stomp and resonator. This is a deep blues track and perfect to close a strong contender in today's modern blues resurrection.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Balkun Brothers - ReDrova - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, ReDrova, from Balkun Brothers and it is a solid blues rocker. Opening with Last Jam (Oh Yeah!) this track has the solidity of early Sabbath and the attitude of Humble Pie. Guitarist/vocalist Steve Balkun has a solid voice and really knows how to grind out the riffs supported by ace drumming by Nick Balkun and heavy bass work of Caleb Battersby. This track rips! Excellent! Next up is title track ReDrova opening with a Peter Green like riff but with a lot of southern rock heavy grit. Steve shows a lot of finesse on slide work and Nick and Caleb drive the train. Very cool! Got My Boots On takes a different direction with a lively stripped down blues rocker. One of my favorite tracks on the release, it rocks! With a lot of the flavor of the new blues rockers with simple instrumentation, this track hits it square on the head. I really like Steve's vocals and stylistic guitar work on this track. Keep Me Warm has a 12 bar format but with a country rhythm. Quick paced and with howlin' slide work and finger pickin, this track blends pure blues, country and modern country rock coming up with a different sound altogether. Cool! Bippidee Bopp (name possibly taken from the drum riff), this track gets right into the Humble Pie - Road Runner groove... you got my attention! A funky blues with great bottom and slide.... what else could a guy ask for. This track is excellent! Keep It Up has a lot of the stye of Jeff's Boogie with a quick guitar riff over a fast paced boogie drive. Throw in a few jazz chords and a walking bass line and you've got it all! Sally's Blues digs down in the mud and pulls out that dark nasty blues that we all wait for. Steve's voice adapts nicely to this more bluesy styling and his quick guitar riffs under the vocals are really sweet. Larry "Buzzy" Fallstrom adds nice piano and organ work to this track for some warmth. Steve stretches out a little on this 6 plus minute track making him one of my new found blues guitar guys who I think have great chops that need to be heard! On Fried Pickle Party, Steve hits the resonator with a real nice slide riff joined by Dave Sadloski on harp. Slidin' Butt is a primarily an acoustic sliding session with a short atmospheric interlude creating a cool tension to the hard drive of the slide work. Nicely done. Tell Me (What's On Your Mind) has a real Elmore James style and is pure blues. A pure foot stomper with Steve just tearing up the resonator on slide this track is hot! Wrapping the release is Too Damn Long, more in the hill country style and a more rudimentary style. A great blues rocker, this is a perfect track to close a diverse album deeply infused in the blues and wild with slide. Do I recommend this release?.... you bet!

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”