CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International. Show all posts

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Black Hen Music artist: Maya Rae - Can You See Me? - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the debut release, Can You See Me?, from Maya Rae who demonstrates strong vocal skills and a fine hand for melody to match her lyrical skills. Opening with title track, Can You See Me?, Maya Rae who has a clear, pop style voice, with traces of Joni, Fiona and other successful folk style vocalists backed by guitar whiz Steve Dawson, Jamie Dick on drums, Jon Estes on bass, Kai Welch on keys and uke, and backing vocals by Allison Russell and JT Nero. Very nice opener. With just a dash of country styling, The Sun Will Come Out Again is another strong composition with a solid melody, and includes vibes by Charlie McCoy, Kristin Weber on violin, and Larissa Maestro on cello. I really like the delicate vocal treatment and musical contrast by Rae on Picture Frame and the vocal harmony work on Storm Leaf really makes for a nice pair of tracks. Bluesy, Freedom Fighter, is one of my favorites on the release with Welch on Wurlitzer, Dawson on slide and adding Sam Howard on vocal. Moon Girl has one of those paces that just captivates you and the vocal backing by Russell and Nero beautifully compliment Rae's own lush lead. Wrapping the release is Goodnight River, a simple ballad with only the minimal of backing by Dawson, Dick, Howard and Welch. This is a very nice closer for a solid release. 

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Friday, May 8, 2020

Stony Plain Records artist: Rory Block - Prove It On Me - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Prove It On Me, by Rory Block and it's pretty tasty. Opening with Helen Humes' He May Be Your Man, Rory Block uses her laid back bluesy style with some of her best vocals in years, matched by her always concise guitar riffs. Excellent opener. Stuff Smith's If You're a Viper is a great tune, paying tribute to Rosetta Howard. Block's vocals are altered into a cool, more vintage feel and with light percussion and great slide, all played by Block. Very nice. Ma Rainey's Prove It On Me is the title track and shines brightly with full, thick vocals and sweet slide work. Blocks really hits her stride on this release, with a clean contemporary recording of excellent old classics. Memphis Minnie's In My Girlish Days is among my favorites on the release with rich vocal styling and Block's well known slide techniques, backed by her own angelic harmonies. Merline Johnson's Milk Man Blues (Yas Yas Girl) is my favorite track on the release with it's perfect poised pace, Block's extra work on vocal delivery which is extremely convincing for the time period and always excellent slide work. Wrapping the release is Elvie Thomas' Motherless Child, a strong closer with deep vocal character and clean slide soloing. This is a strong acoustic release. Check it out!  

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Stony Plain Records artist: Sass Jordan - Rebel Moon Blues - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Rebel Moon Blues, from Sass Jordan and it's got a raw edge. Opening with a funky take on Sleepy John Estes' Leaving Trunk, Sass Jordan shows just how special her vocals can be with Steve Mariner on harp adding great punctuation. Backed by the Champagne Hookers, Chris Caddell on guitars, Jimmy Reid on guitars, Derrick Brady on bass and Cassius Pereira on drums, this is a great opener. Smokin. On Keb Mo's Am I Wrong, Jordan works it hard with Caddell on slide acoustic guitar, kick drums and basic handclaps percussion. Simple and solid. JB Hutto's Too Much Alcohol gets a strong remake with Caddell on slide dobro. Keeping the track in it's raw "acoustic" format and accentuating the raw marriage between Jordan's vocals and the sound of Caddell's resonator guitar makes for great blues. Wrapping the release is Gary Moore's blues ballad, Still Got The Blues. Jordan backs off of the throttle just a little and allows the natural smoothness of her vocals float on the back of Moore's melodic guitar lead, played here by Caddell. This is a cool release showing the strong vocal talents of Jordan.



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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wide Mouth Mason - I Wanna Go With You - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, I Wanna Go With You, from Wide Mouth Mason and it's got a cool, stripped down, earthy sound. Opening with Bodies In Motion, Saskatoon born Shaun Verreault on vocal and guitars and Safwan Javed on percussion and vocals establish a high bar with a fat guitar toned, blues rhythmed, track with a solid melody and super vocals. With phrasing that puts me in mind of prime Leon Russell, this is a super track. Quick paced, Some Kind of Requiem, is a snappy, contemporary blues number with fluid slide runs and strong vocals. Very nice. I really love the overdriven electric guitar sound that Verreault gets on Erase Any Trace. These guys have focused in on a really cool blend of blues, rock and gospel styling that really hits square. Very nice. On Only Child, Mason stretches further into the driving rock styling but preserving the raw blues edge grinds out s pure rocker. Excellent! Another style covered is southern blues style of Shorty Medlock on High Road. Guitar picking, over laid on slide work and a driving bass line gives this track particular traction. Listen closely on Modern Love, yes, the Daviid Bowie hit track gets a total rework and if you don't catch the words will likely slip right past you. It retains the original energy but totally reworking the track format, and with the addition of Shawn "The Harpoonist" Hall makes this redo is very successful.  Rag style track, Outsourced gives Verreault a great opportunity to show off his guitar work and the addition of Kelly "Mr Chill" Hoppe on harmonica and nicely blended vocals, a cool track. Wrapping the release is a really solid radio track, You Get Used To It with great vocal blending between Verreault and Javed. With it's contemporary rock styling and sound, this is the definite radio track on the release and a super closer. 

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Moosicus Records artist: Bai Kamara Jr & The Voodoo Sniffers - Salone - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Salone, from Bai Kamara Jr & The Voodoo Sniffers and it's a cool, mix of blues, folk and African sounds. Kamara, from Brussels originally came from Sierra Leone. Opening with Can't Wait Here Too Long, a cool folk oriented track, showcases Bai Kamara Jr on lead vocal and guitar with a distinct Mali influence and solid blues style vocal. Can't say I've heard anything quite like this before but it is cool. Black Widow Spider is another cool track with only a sketch of guitar and percussion behind ultra cool blues phrased vocals. With a bit of a more mellow blues format but still with what sounds to me like  Mali influence makes Cold Cold Love one of my favorite tracks on the release. Cry Baby has more of a pure "American" blues feel with bluesy vocal styling but again without abandoning that African purity. Very nice. Don't Worry About Me is another strong track with blending between western and African rhythms. Very nice. Time Has Come is a great song with a great Northern African beat. Highest energy track on the release and solid roots. Very nice change up. Boogie track, Fortune, has a distinct John Lee Hooker feel with percussion and a driving guitar beat. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Some Kind Of Loving Tonight which is heavily rooted in American blues with standard 12 bar formatting and even the traditional foot tap. This is a very interesting release and one that I am looking forward to listening to more.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Marie Martens & The Messarounds - Travelled - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Travelled, by Marie Martens & The Messarounds and it's old school blues rock. Opening with Change My Ways, Marie opens with a great slide riff and this band really has the grit of the early Yardbirds (if you don't know them check out the beginnings of Jeff Beck, Clapton and Page). With Ronnie Cacioppo on percussion, Jimmy B Natural on bass and Tom Selear on drums. I like Martens' slide style and with solid bass and driving drums...what's not to love. Very cool! On Keep On Loving Me, Martens steps out on guitar and her riffs are loose and fluid, consistent with the time and is a breath of fresh in todays climate. Just listen to the throaty rumble that she's getting on Mama Won't Allow Me. It's her basic style and those old Teisco (?) pickups that gives it that Hound Dog Taylor feel. Excellent! Listen to this fat slide work on Movin' On! Using just the basic slap drumming technique, Selear really emphasizes Martens' raw sound... really strong! The band continues to rock on through Kokomo Blues. Talk about rattling the rafters. This release is a blast! Hound Dog's own Give Me Back My Wig is next up and that fat fat slide work and grinding tone is just terrific. Closing the release is the Stones' Ventilator Blues. The overdriven, almost "blown up" driver sound that Martens is getting out of her amp makes me jealous as hell. Gotta go home and work on that. Managing this fat sound and on this, one of the Stones great songs is a terrific closer for a really super release.


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Thursday, March 19, 2020

Guy Belanger - Eldorado - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Eldorado, from Guy Belanger and it's pretty cool. Opening with instrumental, Carving The Wind, featuring Guy Belanger interweaving his harmonica work with Robert MacDonald on guitar over the bass work of Marc-Andre Drouin and Michael Dufour on drums. A pure Latin beat sets the tone for instrumental title track, Eldorado, with it's crisp rhythm and swaying feel. Belanger crafts a really nice melody and MacDonald shapes flowing guitar tones that almost sound like the wind. Very nice. A track with an overall blues feel and real tension, When Will I Know features Belanger on lead vocal and harmonica and Bob Stagg on b3, piano and Wurlitzer. This is a really sensitive track with a great radio sense. One of my favorite tracks on the release is light funky jazz rocker, Wicked with it's super bass line from Drouin, and Belanger on harmonica melody and including a real nice guitar solo by MacDonald. Another track with roots in the blues is Hummin' with some really nice blending between Eric Longsworth on cello and MacDonald on acoustic guitar and understated harmonica work by Belanger. With an almost Tower of Power (with no horns) feel, Ganga has you bobbing in no time and with harmonica lead, excellent guitar work by MacDonald, the addition of Paul Picard and the hard work of Drouin on bass. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Stillwater, an interesting, almost anthem track, with strong harmonica effects and a firm guitar, bass, drums underpinning. This is a smooth closer for a real interesting release. 

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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Hipsterdumpster Records artist: Matty T Wall - Transpacific Blues Vol. 1 - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Transpacific Blues Vol. 1, from Matty T Wall and it's quite entertaining. Opening with John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom, Matty T Wall picks up Hookers classic and moves it forward. With toasty guitar riffs, solid vocals, the firm brush work of Ric Whittle on drums and Stephen Walker on bass, and the addition of great slide work of Dave Hole, this is a real cool opener. Hi Heel Sneakers gets a cool, funky treatment, with terrific lead by Wall and Eric Gales. Very nice. On Albert Collins' Quicksand, Kid Ramos steps up with Walls on lead guitar and with a rolling pace, quick shuffle keeps you bopping in your seat. Excellent! T Bone Walker's Stormy Monday take a different turn altogether with a great slow pace but with a different (than the original) melody. This adds tension and with hard grabbed, stinging, guitar riffs Wall keeps you plastered to your seat and listening close. Very cool. Kirk Fletcher sits in on Albert King's Born Under A Bad Sign and again, Wall uses the melody loosely with cues to the original track, especially Walkers spot on bass lines. This freedom to let it all hang out gives the track a definite freshness. Wrapping the release is Robert Johnson's Crossroads, turned rock classic by The Cream and now reworked with a military like drum beat and a Hill Country feel. I like this release. Not only does it have a all-star cast of guitar slingers, it's got a different story to tell. Very cool. 

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Gypsy Soul Records artist: Bywater Call - Self titled - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent self titled release by Bywater Call and it's very nice. Opening with thick, Derek Trucks like slide tone from Dave Barnes, Arizona is a soulful, funky pop rocker. Meghan Parnell has a smooth, soulful lead voice and backed by Samantha Martin, Stacie Tabb, Sherie Marshall and Chantal Williams, this is almost angelic.  A nice sax solo by Jullian Nalli, tight trumpet by Stephen Dyte, a firm hand on bass by Mike Meusel, nicely worked keys by Alan Zemaitis and rhythmic drumming by Bruce McCarthy, this is a super opener. A super rock guitar riff by Barnes sets Talking Backwards on a straight ahead groove and again Parnell has a firm hand on the lead. Punchy horns, a hot sax solo by Nalli and just the right tough of organ and piano by Zemaitis make this a solid rocker. R&B ballad, Nightmare is really a great track with a super melody and lead vocals by Parnell. Backing vocals by Carleigh Aikins and Chantal Williams over a light instrumental backing, a clean slide solo by Barnes and a firm bass line is a perfect balance for radio play.  One of my favorite tracks on the release is sweaty, Walk On By, with some extremely soulful vocals by Parnell. A bluesy edge and stiff, guitar lead gives Parnell the push she needs to go the extra mile on this one with a excellent vocal/instrumental tension. Wrapping the release is light, acoustic oriented, Swing Low and Parnell showing the bright pop vocals that will propel her career, over the keys of Zemaitis, firm bass of Meusel, tight drums of McCarthy and smooth backing vocals of Aikens and Williams. This is a smooth closer for a tasty release. 

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Monday, January 20, 2020

Sue Decker - Outskirts of Love - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Outskirts of Love, by Sue Decker and it's a solid rural country flavored blues release. Opening with Lay Me Down In the Indigo, Sue Decker, shows a solitary sound, singing toe to toe with her resonator guitar. This is an interesting track and a cool opener. Wynn Gogol adds full keyboard support and Damian Graham on bass giving The Stain a strong radio feel. A nice melody and Decker's unique vocals give this track solid traction. A real nice acoustic blues is Too Close to the Bone, one of my favorites on the release. Fingerpicked and simple, may be Decker's best vocal track on the release. Easy flowing pop tune, Let Me Begin with You, has a contemporary rock rhythm and strong melody, with horn programming by Gogol. Backing vocals by Gavin Hodgins and Gogol give this track a healthy radio feel. Another of my favorites on the release is folk flavored Silver Anniversary, with a great melody, strong lead vocal and basic acoustic guitar accompaniment by Adam Dobres on guitar and vocal harmony by Hodgins. Wrapping the release is stripped down blues, Travellin' Light, featuring Decker accompanying her vocal on resonator. This is a special release, blending folksy blues with pop music. 

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Thursday, January 9, 2020

Make It Real Records artist: Matchedash Parish - Saturday Night - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the debut release, Saturday Night, from Matchedash Parish and it's really strong. Matchedash Parish, made up of 12 musicians and with each a real contributor, you expect greatness … and you get it. Opening with When The Rain Comes, a subtle blend of rock, blues, funk, gospel and R&B (plus more) this sounds like the second coming of one of the best rock bands of all time..."The Band". Lead by Matt Weidinger on vocal and keys , this is such a great sound. The full compliment is Lance Anderson on lead vocal and keys, Quisha Wint on  lead vocal and leading the choir, Michelle White backing vocals, Jill Zadeh backing vocals, Shamakah Ali on drums, Ben Rolo on drums, Art Avalos on percussion, mark McIntyre on bass, Mackenzie Jordan on guitar, Gene Hardy on sax and William Sperandei on trumpet, this is a full ensemble. With a proud, Al Green like strut and full gusto, Where There Is Love, follows right on the heels and the second powerful song out of two served up. Seriously they could stop here and have made a better music set than many full recordings out there. With a full load of New Orleans flavor, God Gave You Hands features Wint on lead vocal and a great spiritual based, R&B track. This band is giving you both barrels all the time...no filler. Slipping in a really nice sax solo by Hardy over glistening electric piano and organ this track is fat fat fat and punchy with trumpet by Sperandei.  Excellent!  Not Sold On Getting Old is a cool, funky track with Anderson on lead vocal. With a polished melody, solid bass lines, real nice keyboard and slide solos and great backing vocals, another shining track. Hopeless Romantic again features Anderson on lead vocal with great gospel like backing this track has a Van Morrison like feel. A great melody, healthy warmth and strong instrumentation woven loosely throughout, think Tupelo Honey on steroids. Congo Strut is really instrumentally oriented with terrific jazz runs by Sperandei, Anderson and Weidinger. Excellent New Orleans flavor. Wrapping the release is upbeat rocker, This Love Can't Last with Anderson back on lead vocal and strong trumpet support by Sperandei and great vocal backing by Wint, White and Zadeh. Jordan's slide work really spices up the mix and Hardy's sax work is tight. Excellent closer. 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ben Racine Band - Live A Montreal - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live A Montreal, from the Ben Racine Band and it's quite entertaining. Opening with Addiction, a swaggering blues rocker, Ben Racine, lead vocalist and guitar player has super presence, with deep throaty bari sax by Mathieu Moose Mousseau and backed by Kaven Jalbert on tenor sax, Charles Trudel on keys, Francois Dube on bass and Nicky Estor on drums. I really like Contageous, a soulful rocker with a stiff drum beat. Warm sax work and solid vocals set the pace and again Moose steps up with a nice sax solo, bookended with another by Racine and Jalbert. Very nice! JG Watson's Cuttin' In is one of my favorites with it's soulful melody smoky sax work by Jalbert and tight guitar riffs by Racine. Southbound Girl is a up beat shuffle with great vocals and guitar lead by Racine, tight riffs by Estor and a warm under blanket by Trudel and Jalbert. Excellent! Boogaloo rhythm gives No Smoke Without Fire a great feel and Moose and Jalbert really work it. Move On has a great working funky beat, reinforced by Jalbert and Moose. This would have been a great concert to see and the crowd was treated here with more than 15 tracks. Check it out! 

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Monday, January 6, 2020

Black Hen Music artist: Matt Patershuk - If Wishes Were Horses - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, If Wishes Were Horses, by Matt Patershuk and it's a cool blend of folk, blues and country. Opening with The Blues Don't Bother Me, a springy, modern style country track, has many traces of original country and western music like Patershuk on lead guitar and earthy vocals, super baritone guitar work by Steve Dawson and backing vocals by Kristin Webber and Larissa Maestro and full backing by Gary Craig on drums, Jeremy Holmes on bass, Chris Gestrin on piano and Charlie McCoy on harmonica. I really like the tango styling of instrumental, Horse 1 (For Bravery & Good Fortune) with excellent guitar soloing by Patershuk and Dawson, McCoy on harmonica and Gestrin on keys. Very nice! Alberta Waltz, a country styled ballad, has great feel and authenticity. With Patershuk on lead vocal, clean piano work by Gestrin and Dawson's complimentary steel guitar work, this is definitely on of my favorites on the release. Another track with a distinctive flavor is Velvet Bulldozer with it's country blues styling, the rich vocals of Patershuk, roaring slide work of Dawson, excellent punctuation by Craig and Charlie McCoy's distinctive harmonica sound. Excellent! Real authentic country and western track, Let's Give This Bottle A Black Eye has it all. Patershuk was made to sing this track and Gestrin has studied authentic country piano styling. Dawson seals the deal with his pedal steel guitar... let me say now before the review is over...get this release! There are a few short interludes throughout the release called Horse (1-2-3 &4). Alone, they are hard to review, but they are meaningful little blips featuring Maestro, Gestrin, and Dawson separately which add nicely to the overall composition. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Louisiana flavored country rocker, Red Hot Poker, with a cool balance of raspy vocal by Patershuk, controlled pedal steel by Dawson, electric keys by Gestrin and Holmes on bass. Excellent closer.


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Friday, December 20, 2019

Black Hen Music artist: Big Dave McLean - Pocket Full of Nothin' - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Pocket Full of Nothin', from Big Dave McLean and it has a great feel. Opening with Songs of the Blues, a strutting blues rocker with Big Dave on guitar and vocal, Steve Dawson on excellent slide guitar, Gary Craig on drums, Jeremy Holmes on bass, Chris Gestrin on piano, Malcolm on trumpet, Jerry Cook on bari sax and Dominic Conway on tenor sax. Solid opener. I really like McLean's expressive vocals on Backwards Fool with the National steel guitar behind for contrast and Aiken's muted trumpet as an accent. Very nice. Boogie track, Voodoo Music has a great groove and Dawson's tremolo over his slide work creates a cool shimmer. A strong, slower blues entry is Just To Be With You. McLean creates a real dark atmosphere with his powerful vocals and Dawson's slide work is tight and energized. Very nice. Wrapping the release is ballad, There Will Always Be A Change. With it's springy, country blues styling, McLean and Dawson set a perky pace on vocal and guitar and Aiken, Cook and Conway balance the track nicely with horns. 

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Fuel Junkie - All Out - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, All Out, from Fuel Junkie and I really like it. Opening with title track rocker, All Out, with horns blazing. Featuring Mark LcClerc on lead vocal and tenor sax, Philippe Brochu-Pelletier on tenor sax, Patrice Luneau on bari sax, Antoine Loiselle on guitar, jean-Francois Charest on bass and Philippe Fleury on drums and adding Lex French on trumpet, Andy King on trumpet, Jean-Nicolas Trottier on trombone and Olivier Lizotte on bass trombone this leaves a powerful vapor trail. High Stress, Low Money has a strong new Orleans feel with tight march style drumming by Fleury and interwoven tenor sax lead by Leclerc and Brochu-Pelletier over the solid bottom of Luneau on bari for a great follow-up. With a low down funky beat Can You Dig It? is a cool bluesy jam with great lead by Charest on bass and Loiselle on slide guitar. Excellent! Slow blues, Bad Luck, showcases the soulful vocals of Leclerc and allows plenty of room for sax and guitar solos. Very nice. Get Out On The Road is a power R&B style track with strong bari sax reinforcement by Luneau and trumpets by French and King. Luneau and Leclerc's sax solos are hot making this one of my release favorites. My favorite track on the release is closer, Push Me Away with it's heavy bass laden bottom and soaring guitar work by Charest. It has it's smooth parts, but this is Fuel Junkie wide open. Excellent closer for a strong release. 

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Mark Crissinger - Believe In Love - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Believe In Love, by Mark Crissinger and it's full of surprises. Opening with Believe In Love, with it's romping bottom, courtesy of Jay Stevens on bass and Bill Hicks on drums, Mark Crissinger has the front on lead vocal and guitar, backed by Darcy Phillips on keys and Pierre Komen on sax. Boogie track, I Hear You're Talking, really gives Phillips the floor to work his magic and Crissinger country style vocal and guitar riffs solidify the sound. Another track with a two step feel is La Hoochie Coo with twangy guitar riffs and smooth harmonica by Marty Howe. Heartache and Trouble has a strong melody and with soothing vocals and melodic harmonica line, a definite radio track. My favorite track on the release is Hard No, with it's cool rhythm and catchy tune. Solid guitar work, drum foot work and warm backing gives it that extra punch.  Wrapping the release is country rocker, Hornby with it's springy pace and tight rhythms. Crissinger's vocal lead is cool and his guitar riffs hot, Komen lays nicely on the sax, Howe on harmonica work and another nice piano solo by Phillips gives it the right juice.  

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Northern Social - Northern Social - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the debut self titled release from Northern Social and I really like it. Like earlier work by Wickens and the Grand Nationals this new release has a lot of edge and genuine blues feel. Opening with Waiting, a strong rugged blues rocker, Dylan Wickens, who handles lead vocal, guitar and bass, paired with Mike Rajna on drums and percussion created a sound that is much bigger than two guys. Solid rhythms, vocals and power guitar makes this a great opener. Am I Wrong has a straightforward rock beat with vibrant rhythm guitar with Wicken's vocals carrying the melody. King Of Hearts has a lumbering blues feel with a heavy accent on the 2 and 4 and a fat fat guitar rhythm. Wicken's lead guitar work is tasty and raw where Rajna's drum work is tight and focused. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Dead Neighbor Blues with an easy acoustic country blues feel. Particularly effective is the simplicity of foot drum and tambourine by Rajna under Wicken's traditional acoustic slide work and solid blues vocals. Strong closer. 

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