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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 Electro-fi Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Electro-fi Records. Show all posts

Monday, January 13, 2020

Electro-Fi Records artist: Mark Hummel - Wayback Machine - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Wayback Machine, from Mark Hummel and it old school Chicago style blues. Opening with Flim Flam, a cool blues number with a great bass line courtesy of R.W Grigsby, with Mark Hummel on harmonica and lead vocal, backed by Rusty Zinn on guitar, Aaron Hammerman on piano and some great percussion by Dave Eagle. Super opener. A real nice Chicago flavored shuffle, Cut That out really provides a nice platform for Hummel on harmonica and Billy Flynn shows his chops on guitar, also joined by Kid Andersen. Hummel original, Road Dog is a super harmonica piece with eccentric percussion by Eagle giving it a real primitive feel.  One of my favorites on the release is Breathtaking Blues, a cool, harmonica lead instrumental with a nicely executed piano solo by Hammerman and Eagle's zany percussion. Very cool. Another favorite is Gillum's Crazy About You with a really cool pace, with barrelhouse, rat a tat percussion and Hummel's personal touch on vocal and harmonica. Very nice. Slow blues, Pepper Mama has really nice framework for interwoven harmonica, piano, vocal and guitar by Flynn, Hammerman and Hummel. Hammerman takes the mic on Rag Mama Rag with it's authentic blues flavor and it's loose instrumental jam. Joe Beard joins on Five Long Years adding excellent vocal and guitar to this Boyd classic. With Hummel's solid harp work, this is a strong 1st generation style blues track. Another early style track is Say You Will also featuring the guitar and vocal work of Beard is up next and hits it right down the pipe. If you love delta blues, you will love this track!  Wrapping the release is country style blues Mean Old Frisco, featuring Beard on vocal and guitar but with Andersen on bass and Hummel on harmonica giving it a more current and polished feel. This is a really enjoyable release with a lot of effort to inventiveness on originality. Very nice. 

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Electro-Fi Records artist: Mark Hummel - Harpbreaker - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Harpbreaker, from Mark Hummel and it's one of the best Chicago style blues records that I've heard in a long time. Opening with terrific harp boogie, Harpoventilatin', Mark Hummel wastse not a second showing why he's one of the top blues harp players in the world today. With strong pace, and great phrasing, Mark Hummel leads the way joined by Charles Wheal on guitar, Steve Wolf on bass, Marty Dodson on drums and Bob Welsh on keys. Jump track, Rotten Kid really is hot with Wheal laying out some terrific guitar riffs working nicely with Hummel's own featured playing. Excellent. With a super strut, Walkin' With Mr. Lee has just the right snap. Featuring Wes Starr on drums, RW Grigsby on bass, Charlie Baty and Anson Funderburgh on guitars, this track is terrific. Slow blues, Cristo Redentor has such a presence with it's soulful melody and smooth guitar phrasing by Kid Anderson. Excellent! Senor Blues has a beautiful Latin feel with a floating melody and features confident solos by Hummel, Chris Burns (keys) and Johnny bones (sax) backed by Rusty Zinn on guitar, Lech Wierzynski on trumpet, and Willie Panker on drums. Smooth shuffle, Glide On, features nice solos from Zinn, Burns and Hummel. Very nice. Harp boogie, Chuckaluck, is a great showcase for Hummel with Dave Eagle on washboard, Aaron Hammerman on piano and Billy Flynn on guitar. Sweet. Wrapping the release is classic blues number, See See Rider with Zinn on guitar and Hummel on harp, about as stripped down as a modern blues gets. Super closer for an excellent release.



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Monday, April 25, 2016

Electro-Fi Records artists - Golden State Lone Star Blues Review - New Release Review

I just received the newest release from the Golden State Lone Star Blues Review, and it's terrific! This all-star band opens with Gatemouth Brown's loping Texas style blues, Midnight Hour, featuring Mark Hummel on lead vocal, Anson Funderburgh and Little Charlie Baty on guitar, RW Grigsby on bass and Wes Starr on drums. This track is a great opener with reinforcements by Eric Spaulding and Jack Sanford on sax. Billy Boy Arnold's, Here's My Picture, is up next and Hummel takes a super sweet harp break during a break in the primarily Latin rhythm track. Prove It To You is a cool swing blues track with Hummel driving the train on vocal, a nice walking bass line by RW Grigsby and tight drums by Wes Starr. Little Charlie hits the strings with a slick guitar solo and Hummel's phrasing is top notch. Slow NO style blues, Cool To Be Your Fool, features beautiful piano interplay by Jim Pugh and a solid bass line by Grigsby. Very nice! Lowell Fulsom's, Check Yourself, has a real nice vocal and piano swing and tight drum snap from Starr. Hummel bears down on the harp for one of his finest features on the release. Funderburgh takes center stage with some of his trademark riffs giving the track a real hot sound. Excellent! Mose Allison's, Stop This World, has a nice easy jazz feel and Hummel's vocals blend nicely with organ work by Pugh. Guitar and harp riff trading is clean and sparkling. Shuffle track, Take A Chance, has some choice drum riffs and with Hummel leading on vocal and harp, Funderburgh and Pugh each stretching. Very cool. Lucky Kewpie Doll has a beach rock sound and Baty really lays out some cool riffs. Pugh lays in some nice piano work as well over a solid rockin' beat. Pepper Mama opens with a really hot guitar riff by Funderburgh. Hummel's vocals blend nicely with Pugh's piano work but it's Anson's turn to shine and his guitar riffs on this track are top notch. Lee Allen's Walking With Mr. Lee is a smooth shuffle and a great showcase for Hummel on harp. A cool walking bass line from Grigsby, keys by Pugh and tight drums by Starr round out the track. Detroit Blues is a cool loping blues number with vocal harmony. Hummel takes this track to task with solid red hot harp tone making it one of my favorites. Jimmy McCracklin's, Georgia Slop, has an upbeat R&B feel with great sax work on the bottom and rock drums. Grigsby drives a great bass line on this one and Hummel breaks loose for another super solo (Stilladog... this one's for you). Excellent! JB Hutto number, Dim Lights is up next with a super swagger and Hummel sets a good pace on vocal and harp. Funderburgh plays cool under the track with traditional riff and Baty hit the slide with fire in his eyes. Very super! Wrapping the release is End Of The World, an absolutely excellent blues track highlighted by Pugh's piano work, Hummel's vocals, Baty's, JL Hooker like guitar riffs and tension building sirens etc over basic drums and bass by Grigsby and Starr, peppered with harp. This is an excellent release with more joint contributions and only a few individual blow out solos making it walk like a silent giant.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Electro-fi artists Fathead - Fatter Than Ever - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Fatter Than Ever, from Fathead and it is a full spectrum of blues influenced tracks. Opening with I Don't Want To Leave The Party, a rolling boogie, featuring John Mays on lead vocal and Al Lerman on harp. Johnny Says has a rootsy '50's kind of sound with Bucky Berger pushing things along on drums and cool guitar from Papa John King and Lerman on harp. Take A Little Time For Yourself has a little twist of country swing with a cool resonator solo from Lerman. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Evil Eye has a jagged rhythm pattern accentuated by Berger. With laid back vocals and harp and guitar adornment, I just like this track. Twenty Second Chances has a R&B ballad feel with some of the best vocals on the release. Lerman adds a warm to the track with some smooth sax work. When Did You Ever has a country two step feel. Vocal harmonizing between May and the band gives this track a feel of it's own. Lerman plays a cool harp solo on this track as well adding just that right touch. Slippery Slope has a contemporary blues feel and vocal harmonies. Lerman takes a nice harp solo on the track making it one of my favorites. Life Goes On is the most melodic track on the release making it the most likely for radio play with it's catchy hook and subtle instrumentation. My Brother actually reminds me quite a bit of the Doobie Brothers. Vocal harmonies on the chorus and both and guitar and harp leads make it a prime radio track as well. Better Off Taking Chances has a laid back Randy Newman style. Lance Anderson adds some nice piano work on this track and Lerman also adds a cool sax solo. Shoot That Rooster is a cool jump track that makes my top 3 on the release. With a great rhythm and nicely blended vocals, over the cool piano work of Anderson and hot solos from King and Lerman, this track cooks. Pinching Pennies has a little twist of Latin and a little pinch of funk and a dose of New Orleans. Denis Keldie opens Preacher Man with a cool B3 part and the pace is set by Berger on drums, cool bass lines from Omar Tunnoch and the guitar work of King. A Little Feat like track with contemporary rock/blues/funk feel ...sure to be well received. Throw Me A Bone is a cool track with a feeling of Rufus Thomas. Cost To Boogie has a sound of Funky Chicken with Tower Of Power. King breaks loose with his hottest solo on the release. It's a great conclusion of an interesting release.

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