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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 Kelley Hunt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kelley Hunt. Show all posts

Friday, December 29, 2017

M.C. Records artist: Duke Robillard - Duke and his Dames of Rhythm - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Duke and his Dames of Rhythm, by Duke Robillard and it's a mighty swing fest. Opening with From Monday On, Sunny Crownover has the floor, backed by Bruce Bears on piano, Brad Hallen on bass, Mark Teixeira on drums, Jon Erik Kellso on trumpet, Billy Novick on clarinet and alto sax, Carl Querfurth on trombone and of course Robillard on guitar. A bright prance, this track has super clarinet, strong guitar riffs, a powerful bass line and a particularly nice trombone solo by Querfurth. Maria Muldaur had the floor on Got The South In My Soul and again, powerful clarinet soloing by Novick and bright guitar riffs by the Duke really set it off. Kelley Hunt steps up to the mic on Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone, a solid blues ballad with solid vocals, jumping into swing time with Mark Earley's brilliant tenor sax solo. Kellso's trumpet work, Bears' piano work, another clarinet solo by Novick and a tight bass line from Hallen really give this track spank. Madeline Peyroux is a solid choice to deliver the sensuous vocal lines on Squeeze Me. Duke's guitar lines are tight, direct and rich providing a super contrast to the soulful soloing of Novick and the jazzy runs of Kellso. Very nice. Duke steps forward himself delivering perfect lead vocal on Walking Stick. This track has really nice instrumental lead work on it with particularly nice runs by Robillard, Andy Stein on violin and Kellso, with tight instrumental jazz jamming. Excellent! Catherine Russell has the lead on Blues In My Heart, surrounded by the bluesy muted horns of Kellso and Querfurth. On Easy Living, Peyroux has the lead over mild, jazz tones, warm sax harmony, simple piano and tight drums. Novick's tenor sax work on this track is particularly warm and rich and Kellso's trumpet is muted and solid. Ready For The River has a strong Dixieland jazz feel with brassy horns, mellow clarinet undertones and simple cadence. This one of my favorite tracks on the release with really nice balance. Wrapping the release is Call Of The Freaks, an instrumental track with a cool blend of trombone, clarinet, drums and piano stretching out to super guitar and muted trumpet soloing. Strong closer to an interesting release.



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Friday, September 23, 2016

Stony Plain Records artist: Duke Robillard - Blues Full Circle - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Blues Full Circle, from Duke Robillard and it's styling. Opening with Lay a Little Lovin' On Me, Robillard has lead vocals and the band is sets up a creep. Bruce Bears lays the ground work on piano, backed by Brad Hallen on bass and Mark Teixeira on drums. Robillard ealks in with a really nice fat guitar scream giving the track real attitude. Nice opener. On easy shuffle, Rain Keeps Falling, Bears and Robillard swap lead work under the vocal keeping it tight. Mourning Dove slows it down a bit and Duke plays some of his most expressive riffs of the release. Ouch! Back up to tempo, No More Tears, has a nice groove and Robillard steps out in style backed by Bear's organ work. Very nice. Jimmy Lewis' Last Night features Sugar Ray Norcia and his vocals are rich. Robillard's guitar work is clean and tight and Saw Gordon Beadle lays in some real nice sax work. On New Orleans saturated, A Fool About My Money Bears and Teixeira really set the scene with Bears taking an extended piano solo leading into a contained solo by Robillard. Quite a cool track with particularly nice vocals by Robillard. Kelley Hunt takes the floor on vocal and piano on The Mood Room. A rolling blues rocker, has strong bass work from Hallen and cool solos by Bears and Robillard. Very cool. Taking the tempo down a few notches, I've Got A Feelin' That You're Foolin' has a cool Tulsa country blues style and Robillard shows he knows this style well nice blues riffs throughout. Jimmie Vaughan's Shufflin' and Scufflin' features Robillard paired with Jimmie Vaughan on guitar. A real cool shuffle tune with Bears on organ, and the boys trading, it's Doug James who steps up with the grand slam on Bari sax. Very nice. Blues for Eddie Jones is a cool track about Guitar Slim. Bears' piano work nicely nighlights the scatter guitar riffs. Sweet. On jazz shuffle, You Used To Be Sugar, has a real nice groove pushed by Hallen's bass work and Duke takes a nice walk on the fretboard. On somber ballad, Worth Waitin' On, Robillard put's up some of his best vocals, carried by Bears, who not only sets the carrier but also plays a really nice organ solo. Wrapping the release is Come With Me Baby, a real nice low slung blues, with Robillard answering his vocal call with his guitar response. Saving the best for last, Robillard hits the groove square on with some excellent guitar riffs. Super closer for a cool release.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

88 Records artist: Kelley Hunt - The Beautiful Bones - New Release review

I just received the newest release, The Beautiful Bones, from Kelley Hunt and it's surprisingly good! Opening with a high stepping This Time, singer / song writer Hunt shows a little Billy Preston flair on piano under her solid vocals. Backed by Brian Owings (drums), Tim Marks (bass), John Jackson (guitar), Mark Jordan (B3), Mitch Kelley (sax) and Jon-Paul Frappier (trumpet) this band gets it moving. Golden Hour has a strong gospel feel with cool backing vocals by Regina McCrary, Alfreda McCrary, and Ann McCrary. Kelly is really a super vocalist and supports herself well with percussive piano work. Jackson lays down some cool guitar riffs on this track as well. Let It Rain is a solid R&B style ballad without a lot of star search pyrotechnics. Actually quite nice. Release And Be Free is soul personified with a hot taste of gospel. This is someone who has tasted the waters of Aretha Franklin. Now that is a strong statement but first I'll clarify that I did not say that Hunt sounds like Franklin, but that she has many of Aretha's best attributes. Her phrasing is terrific and the song just makes you want to sit back and listen. Again the McCrary sisters do a really nice job on vocal backing for this track. Excellent! When Love Is At The Wheel is an upbeat R&B track not unlike you might expect from Ike and Tina. Simplify is an easy paced R&B ballad, nicely constructed and showing Hunts comfort in this style. Her songs are nicely crafted and her voice is spot on. Title track, The Beautiful Bones, has a particularly nice feel, Hunt taking it all on her vocal style and wonderful phrasing. This could easily be a direct cover of an Aretha Franklin song it feels so good. I have to say congratulations. Hunt does not sound like she is copying Franklin, her voice isn't really similar to Franklin's, but her feel and phrasing is just right. Gates of Eden loosens back up to a more R&B pop style of the likes of Mississippi singer Bobbie Gentry. Instrumentally, John Jackson creates a sonic environment with electric guitar and effects. I've Got A Good Feeling has a really cool swing pairing Hunts vocals and piano with Tony Harrell on B3. Jackson steps up with a little country flair on guitar but the song is really a a bluesy shuffle. I Want You There is another delicately crafted ballad. With it's sweet melody and a nicely placed sax solo from Mitch Reilly this is another track that could receive broad airplay. Concluding the release is The Sweet Goodbye, a track based on a gospel basis. With a delicate hand and a strong voice, Hunt sings and plays her way to the conclusion of a very strong release.  

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