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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 Billy Thompson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Billy Thompson. Show all posts

Friday, January 19, 2018

Billy Thompson - BT - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, BT, from Billy Thompson and it's terrific! Opening with Burn It Down, Bernadette, Billy is smoking right out of the can with an extremely funky rocker. leading the way on vocal and slide guitar, backed by Michael Leroy Peed on keys, Daryl Johnson on bass, Eric Selby on drums, DK Kelly on percussion and Xzantiny Grant on vocals, these guys are hot. On blues shuffle, Phoine, Billy is backed by a stacked deck with Mike Finnigan, James Hutchinson on bass and Anthony Braunagel on drums. Finnigan really winds out the keys giving Billy plenty of air to pound with screaming riffs. Very nice. Cool R&B number, Silent Warrior has a great feel with excellent guitar riffs pushing the intensity during the beef of the track. Thompson's vocals are soulful and spot on. Very nice. With it's slick R&B tempo, Mud Island Woman is infectious and with Thompson's stinging harp riffs, crisp guitar lead  and vocal lead, this may be the best track on the release. Bluesy, Stranger really showcases Thompson's soulful vocals and solid vocal phrasing. Finnigan's organ work nicely surrounds Thompson's shimmering guitar riffs, nicely accenting the suspense of the track. This track is really hot giving Thompson a great opportunity to not only showcase his vocals but to stretch on guitar. Excellent! In The Back Of Garage is a definite radio style track with an excellent melody with a soulful sound, and precise guitar work. Children Of The Sun is a smooth ballad with biting guitars riffs and rich piano faire developing into a progressive jazz tune based on a Whipping Post like rhythm. Very nice. Wrapping the release is cool, stylistic blues number, Reason For Goin' Fishin', with it's rural feel. Peed's bouncy piano work and Selby's stumble drums give the track a nice Lusiana country feel. This is a real nice closer for a real strong release.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Soul Stew Records artist: Billy Thompson - Friend - New Release Review

I just received the new release, Friend, from Billy Thompson and I think it's really super! Opening with Soldier of Misfortune, a funky rocker, Thompson demonstrates not only a cool singing voice but unique arranging talent and hot guitar riffs. Backed by Chris Dominicion keys, Gene Monroe on bass, Jonathan Greenburg on trumpet, Ian Charlton on sax, Tom Tierney on sax and Eric Selby on drums Thompson really lays out nice guitar riffs making this a really hot track. Garden has a contemporary Latin rhythm and Thompson really shosw a mastery of slide guitar and vocals and is also backed by Mr Bill Payne on keys. Interlude is a deep gripping blues ballad featuring some of the best vocal work that I have heard in weeks. Mike Finnegan adds warm organ to this track and Thompson skillfully adds nice guitar backing to his own vocals like a master trimming his bonsai. A really tasty guitar solo erupts but never out of character of a contained ballad. Masterfully beautiful! Farmer Kenny is a cool swing track with a cool lope on the bottom by Chris Brown. Ron Holloway and Wes Lanich (keys) add a lot of texture to this track but Thompson really knows how to showcase his skills and here they are...kick back and listen. On title track, Friend, Mike Peed (keys) and James East (bass) join Thompson for a somewhat straight forward radio player. Very nice melody and hook. Half A Man is a soulful ballad which really has the stuff that gives a track longevity. Thompson again demonstrates that he really is a vocalist first and an instrumentalist second. His vocals are really terrific. I don't often comment on the credibility of vocalists unless they are superior because I really hear the voice as an instrument. When I hear someone who sings like this, I have to comment. I really like it... and he can rip on guitar too! Happy go lucky with a bop, Many Faces, has that light funk and great horns to push it along. Ron Holloway whips out some key riffs on this track and you need to think to keep your butt from squirming on this one... very hot! Also nice vocal backing from Dani Grays and Xzantiny Grant. With it's Louisiana stomp, Satisfied is driven by Selby's hot drumming and Bill Payne on keys. Undercover slide work adds nice texture to the track but it's really about the beat, the keys and cool vocals. Then I, My Love is another smokey blues ballad. It is so infrequently that I am really attracted to the vocal work of an artist that I have to stop once again and say...this guy is terrific! Mike Finnigan props up the vocals on this track with a bed of organs while Thompson dances lightly on the fretboard under his singing... brilliant. Ain't But One is a full out New Orleans hi speed funky march again featuring Finnigan but with Kenny Gradney on bass. Thompson doesn't hold back on his riffs on this track adding yet another track to the list of really great tracks on this release. On Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine, Thompson throws his own spin and Peed adds drama with piano. Bassist Dave Curtis and percussionist Danny Campbell join the mix and Thompson's vocal interpretation sounds fresh. Completing the release is While The World's Winding Down, sounding a lot like Further On Up The Road, is a great blues boogie romp giving Thompson on final chance to rip and rip he does. Finnigan adds really nice organ lines and Gene Monroe is right on with the bass. Selby has maintained the rhythm like a rock throughout the release. Overall this is one of the most enjoyable releases that I have had the pleasure of reviewing this year. Excellent job!

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