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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 Be Cool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Be Cool. Show all posts

Friday, January 26, 2024

Blue Heart Records artist: Willie J. Campbell - Be Cool - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Be Cool, from Willie J. Campbell and it's really strong. Opening with You Better Let Go, Sugar Ray Rayford is upfront on lead vocal, with Willie J. Campbell on bass, Brooks Milgate on keys, Kid Ramos on guitar and Jimi Bott on drums. Ramos lays out a really nice guitar solo on this somewhat funky track, nicely complimented by Condron Hampton on congas. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Can't Stay Away, featuring Janiva Magness on lead vocal and Brian Templeton on backing vocal, as well as Anson Funderburgh showing exceptional finesse on guitar. Also appearing on this track are Mike Morgan and Shawn Pittman on guitars.  Excellent! Templeton has the mic on Drone with it's droning bass line and features the harmonica wizardry of Jason Ricci. There's hardly a track that Ricci contributes to that I don't think that he improves substantially so this is another of my favorites. another Texas style shuffle, Docksidin', lets Funderburgh stretch a bit on guitar and the guy can really play. Milgate on keys as well as Pittman and Morgan on guitars really add as well. Very cool. Shawn Pittman has the spotlight on Devil On My Shoulder with super lead vocals and acoustic guitar and excellent slide work by Morgan. Milgate's piano work on She's a Twister is a standout with Templeton on lead vocals and a flurry of guitar by Ramos. Very nice. The release concludes with two equally iridescent tracks. First up, Use As Needed featuring Templeton on lead vocal and Peter Green's instrumental, Albatross, both which showcase the beautiful guitar work of Ramos and include the piano of Pat McDougall. This really is a terrific release, top to bottom and I highly recommend this release of Willie J. Campbell's work (on bass on each track). Campbell died of ALS on December 19, 2022.

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