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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 Jim Suhler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jim Suhler. Show all posts

Friday, June 24, 2016

Underworld Indie Records artist: Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat - Live at the Kessler - New release review

I just received the newest release, Live at the Kessler, from Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat and it's really fun. Opening with I Declare, Suhler gets the crowd warmed up on lead vocal with excellent piano support from Shawn Phares, Chris Alexander on bass and Beau Chadwell on drums. Suhler has a great voice and great tone. On swampy, Across the Brazos, Chadwell's snappy drum beat and accordion like key work by Phares add extra flavor. Rock n' Roller, Doin' The Best I Can, is a hard driver with Suhler showing his super slide technique. This is a great cranker and Suhler presses on with strong support by Phares on keys. Excellent! Tijuana Bible has a real nice thumping bass line and grinding guitar riffs. With it's memorable melody and ZZ Top like feel, this track is hot! Deja Blue has a cool tandem vocal/lead guitar melody with accordion keys giving it a cajun feel. Single note bass line and steady drum lines gives the track a simple structure accenting Suhler's easy slung lead slide work. Very nice. Texassippi has a real nice southern country feel with really supple vocals and acoustic slide work. Sunday Drunk is a great rocker with a relentless bass line. Suhler stretches his strings quite nicely giving the track real bite. Devil In Me opens with a cool drum solo from Chadwell joined by Suhler on slide. Heavy toms and solid bottom is the key to this track with it's slight country taste. Suhler really lets it loose on this one with some slick slide riffs. Excellent! Panther Burn is a heavy lumbering track ... kind of a southern version of Levee Breaks. Alexander and Suhler on vocal with Suhler's slide work and solid drums really gives this track oomph. Scattergun is a really cool shuffle with lead slide. A pure blues number with boss bass lines, this track is great. Suhler and Phares really air it out here for one of the best tracks on the release. Po' Lightnin' has a cool funky beat and with nice lead bass lines and almost spoken lyrics. Prayin' For Rain, built over arpeggios on a theme, is a really sweet ballad. Wrapping the release is Restless Soul, a pure rockin' boogie. If this doesn't get you moving, nothing will. With plenty of slide work this track morphs into a driving version of Bullfrog blues and raw rowdy sliding blues. Excellent closer!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Underworld Records artist: Jim Suhler - Panther Burn - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (February 18, 2014), Panther Burn, from Jim Suhler and it's a keeper. Opening with title track, Panther Burn, Suhler blends that rare swamp sound with rock and blues to create his own unique sound. With Tim Alexander on organ and Beau Chadwell on drums, Shuler creates a really cool story line and super guitar riffs. I Declare is more of an uptempo shuffle with Kim Wilson backing Suhlers vocals on harp. Alexander plays nice piano riffs over a basic shuffle rhythm, Wilson get a nice opportunity to stretch out and does so nicely. Across The Brazos is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a modified blues vamp. Understated guitar riffs going on throughout the track as well as nicely developed piano riffs make this one a definite listen. Leave My Blues Behind is a quick paced jazz/blues style track. A lot of swing is included in the DNA of this track and Suhler really rips some tasty guitar work on this track. Shawn Phares joins on organ for this track and is definitely noticible. He is also backed by Ron Jones on sax and Galen Jeter on trumpet. Sounding like a nod to a classic rocker from Steppenwolf with a San Francisco twist, I See You keeps it simple and loose. Remember Mama is a very cool instrumental giving Suhler the opportunity to play some clean euphoric slide work. Texassippi has a country back bone and an easy going pace. Soothing vocals and melodic guitar work are the key to this track. Sky's Full Of Crows continues along the country styling with train pacing compliments of Jimmy Morgan on drums and James Mohmed on percussion. A vocal story telling pace similar to older Bob Dylan give the track a certainty and immediate likability that you rarely hear. Another really cool track. Between Midnight and Day has a cool mixture of musical architextures (I hear King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix and Molly Hatchet to mane a few). Jason Elmore joins on this track and adds to the guitar pyrotechnics. Dinosaur Wine steps back toward the two step feeling of country/rock music of course without the hollywood flash and over the top steel guitar but with the honesty of it's simplicity. I've been listening to Suhler for quite some time since being introduced to him by acquaintance David Wilson who writes the Tonequest Report. I initially listened to hear his guitar but have found that he really has a fine voice. Amen Corner has a real simplicity to it making it another of my favorites on the release. With a mixture of gospel, country and blues featuring Suhler and Alexander it is a real cool little track reminiscent of some of the Delaney and Bonnie with D Allman. Jump Up, Sister is another "happy" track in the D&B genre with Suhler adding some tasty slide work and steady driving drum work from Chadwell. Worldwide Hoodoo is a driving rocker with flaming guitar riffs. This is a cool track to wrap the release with well blended bass leads, organ leads and guitar riffs.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Tijuana Bible

Jim Suhler and Monkey Beat have been on the music scene now for over twelve years, and have built a fan base worldwide. They are well known for their "no-holds-barred" approach to blues-inspired rock and roll. Their three Lucky Seven releases have shown an amazing depth of songwriting and playing, and their constant touring in both the USA and Europe has garnered many admirers. Jim is also well known as the lead guitarist for George Thorogood and The Destroyers, and has often been included in "Top Ten Guitarists" lists of various music publications.