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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 Harlem Street Singer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harlem Street Singer. Show all posts

Monday, December 8, 2014

Keyesland Music artists: Harlem Street Singer - Empire Roots Band - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Music from the film, Harlem Street Singer, Music by Empire Roots Band it's it's quite well done. This film and consequently this cd celebrates the music of Rev. Gary Davis. Opening with Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning, this band features the robust voice of Bill Sims Jr. guitar work by Woody Mann, piano by Dave Keyes and bass by Brian Glassman. Each of the performers shows their individual virtuosity on this track. On Search My Heart, Sims Jr. holds a strong line vocally but it's Keyes that shines on through on piano on this track. Opening with really clean piano riffs by Keyes, Mean Old World gets a super rework by Sims jr. and may be my favorite track on the release. Both Keyes and Mann lay down some exceptional riffs. There's A Destruction In This Land has a particularly strong spiritual overtone with it's gospel feel. Genre specific piano riffs and warm harmonies accentuate Sims jr.s lead vocals. I particularly like Mann's lead guitar take off on this track. Opening with some cool slide riffs by Mann, Soon My Work Will All Be Done, is a quiet contemplative track with subtle overtones. Nice finger picking by Mann opens Trying To Get Home and Sims Jr. lays down some of my favorite vocals on the release. A nice blend of Mann's guitar, Keyes on piano and a cool solo by Glassman makes this one of my favorites on the release. An extremely precise chord intro by Mann gives Sunday Church Medley a certain sophistication before breaking into a simple revival feel with blended male vocals and Keyes, Glassman and Mann sharing in the resulting musical bounty. A great intro by Mann and Keyes and a nice bass line by Glassman gives on Hesitation Blues a terrific posture. Excellent! Twelve Gates To The City has a nice almost New Orleans strut thanks to Keyes. Glassman lays out a solid bass solo on this track, lightly punctuated by Keyes and Mann plays close to Sims Jr. really capturing the feel of RGD. On I Am The Light Of This World/I Belong To The Band, Sims Jr.s vocals are more neatly tucked into the basci feel of the music with solid piano throughout. Mann has a few hot riffs but this track is about it's swing. Wrapping the release is Orangitang Rag. This is a really crisp guitar lead guitar track with tight bass riffs and a quick piano solo from Keys. An excellent track to conclude an uplifting release.

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