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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 Laura Chavez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laura Chavez. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Phenix Fire Records artist: Vanessa Collier - Heart On The Line - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Heart On The Line, from Vanessa Collier, and it's quite good. Opening with James Brown's, Super Bad Collier is off to a strong start morphing a quick tempo driver into a slow, funky instant hit. This track has it all with movement, great vocal, a great bottom, and saxy solo by Collier. Backed by Nick Stevens on drums, Scott Sutherland on bass, Laura Chavez on guitar, William Gorman on keys, Quinn Carson on Trombone, Doug Woolverton on trumpet, this track is hot! With a delta feel on Bloodhound, Chavez lays down a cool slide riff and Colliers vocals really take over. With CC Ellis on bass and Stevens on drums, this track has oomph. Randy Newman's You Can Leave Your Hat On gets a really nice rework with plenty of spunk. I really like the horn work on this one pushing it along and Chavez's guitar solo just just right in the groove. Excellent! Original track, Weep and Moan has a really great feel with a slower tempo, tasty guitar trem and solo work by Chavez and Carson, Woolverton and Colliers working the horns under death defying vocals. Very nice! Funky, Who's In Power really pours on the horn sauce with Colliers working up the band with choice vocal and sax work over a pumped bass line by Ellis. Hot! Wrapping the release is the most pop oriented track on the release, Heart On The Line, with Cornell Williams really working the bass line, punchy horn work by Carson and Woolverton and great vocal work, revival style by Colliers. Excellent closer for her best release yet.


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Monday, May 4, 2020

VizzTone Label Group artist: Casey Hensley - Good As Gone - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Good As Gone, from Casey Hensley and there's some powerful good music on there. Opening with driving blues rocker and title track, Good As Gone and Casey Hensley wastes no time in showing what she's got. A powerful lead singer along the lines of Ann Wilson, Hensley cuts loose over a potent rhythm section of Laura Chavez on guitar, Marcos C. on bass and Evan Caleb Yearsley on drums. On You Should Be Lucky, Chavez steps up in the mix with that rich guitar tone that she's known for playing some blistering riffs balancing Hensley's strong vocals. With a shift to swing style and the beat on 2, Be My Baby (What Do You Say?) is a comfortable style for Hensley with perfect clarity and Chavez of course plays tight and right. Blues ballad, Love Will Break Your Heart is the best showcase for Hensley's vocals on the release with a smooth backing vocals, horn work by Jonny Viau and Steven Ebner and of course tasty guitar soloing by Chavez. Another solid blues ballad, Don't Want It to Stop finds Hensley pushing hard with gutsy vocals and Chavez does another beautiful job of squeezing the blues from her guitar. Very nice. Wrapping the release is jump track, All In, with Hensley and Chavez both showing giving it a great run. This is a super closer for a strong release. 

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Whitney Shay - Stand Up! - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Stand Up!, from Whitney Shay and its got a cool R&B vibe. Opening with funky title track, Stand Up! ... Whitney on lead vocal and strong drumming by Brannon Temple. This track has got it going. With solo guitar work by favorite Laura Chavez and a full horn compliment of Kaz Kazanoff on tenor sax, John Mills on bari and Al Gomez on trumpet and with Chris Maresh on bass and Red Young on keys, this is a strong opener. Equal Ground is a slower, lumbering blues style track with a lot of swagger. Slide work by Derek O'Brien and the rich vocals of Shay gives this track just the right sound. Radio ballad, I Thought We Were Through has a strong melody and soulful vocals by Shay and a cool sax solo by Kaz makes this an ideal radio track. A duet vocal with Guy Forsyth on funky, Far Apart (Still Close) a solid fluid guitar solo by Chavez and a strong bass line by Maresh makes this track one of my favorites on the release. Boy, Sit Down has a snappy, beat with a sizzling drum rhythm. Shay's sassy vocals, cool resonator work by Forsyth, real nice trumpet work by Gomez and keys by Marcia Ball is another of my favorites on the release. Falling back into a nice soul track, I Never Meant to Love Him, is a great showcase for Shay's voice and one of the stellar tracks on the release. Really nice! Wrapping the release is Change with the Times, a rolling R&B track with a full horn compliment. Mills has a throaty sax solo giving the track a nice jolt and backing vocals by Alice Sadler, Whitney Shay and Kaz give the track smooth out the edges before a pumped up finale. Very cool release. 

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Ruf Records artist: Katarina Pejak - Roads That Cross - New Release Review


 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Roads That Cross, from Katarina Pejak and I really like it. Opening with surf rocker, Nature Of My Blues, Pejak is upfront on lead vocal and keys, with axe master Laura Chavez on guitar, Lonnie Trevino Jr. on bass, Damien Llanes on drums. Excellent opener. Modern jazz, blues track, Sex Kills has a cool, understated, almost reggae rhythm with solid lead vocals and nice piano work by Pejak. Southern soul oozes out of Pejak on Old Pain, a really nice track with real radio potential. Soft heat on organ gives the track an even warmer feeling yet. very nice. Country rocker, Chasing Summer has real sting with Chavez giving the track a coarse guitar edge and nice piano soloing by Pejak. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Latin flavored She's Coming After You. Llanes light had on drums really gives the track air, Chaves' guitar work is classic and Pejak's vocals are terrific. Excellent! Another radio track with a solid melody and really nice vocal harmonies is title track, Roads That Cross. Chavez lays low on guitar but her work are essential. Wrapping the release is The Harder You Kick, an easy ballad featuring Pejak on lead vocal and electric keys. A solid melody and clean execution makes this a strong closer for a really nice release.



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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Dirty Cat Records artists: The Lucky Losers - Blind Spot - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blind Spot, from The Lucky Losers and it may be their best one yet. Opening with It's Never Too Early, a melodic two stepper featuring nicely blended vocals by Cathy Lemons and Phil Berkowitz, backed by Ian Lamson on guitars, Chris Burns on keys, Endre Tarczy on bass and Robi Bean on drums. Take The Long Road is a real cool track with an Al Green strut. Lemons' vocals are spot on, with Laura Chavez on lead guitar and Berkowitz harp contributions are notable. Alligator Baptism is a cool blues rocker with a pinch of Latin spice courtesy of D'mar on percussion and the addition of Kid Andersen on lead guitar, Jack Sanford on bari sax and Nancy Wright on sax. Another strong track, The River, this time country soul really nicely showcases Lemons' voice which sounds a lot like Susan Tedeschi. Lamson's slide work and harp work by Berkowitz add nicely to this really solid entry. With a cyclical bass line by Tarcy, Supernatural Blues has a great feel, with Lemons and Berkowitz laying down a solid duet and crisp guitar riffs by Lamson. Funky, Don't Take Too Much,lays heavy on a great bass line by Tarczy and D'Mar on drums. Nicely phrased vocals by Lemons and Berkowitz, funky organ work by Burns, and a particularly nice harp lead by Berkowitz makes it hard to sit still. Very nice. Channeling an Al Green vibe, Love Is Blind really sits nicely in the groove. Lemons has the lead on vocal and with nicely finessed harp work from Berkowitz, a cool neck pickup guitar solo with tight articulation by Kid Andersen and Beans solid drumming, this track is smooth. Wrapping the release is You Left It Behind, a light, piano framed shuffle with playful vocal exchanges by Lemons and Berkowitz. Tarczy and Bean set a compact bottom and Lamson's guitar runs are super. Very cool closer for a real nice release.
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Friday, December 22, 2017

VizzTone Label Group artist: Casey Hensley - Live - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, live, from Casey Hensley and it's smokin'. Opening with Big Mama Thornton's, Big Mama's Coming Home, Hensley grinds right into it with gritty vocals and a big presence. Backed by Evan Caleb Yearsley on drums, Johnny Viau on sax and Marcos C on bass this band is first class. I really want to point out that this release features Laura Chavez and I mean it features her. Chavez has always carries a big hammer but this first track has made me a big fan. Chavez really tears it up, reminding me of the style of one of my favorite contemporary players, Rockin' Johnny Burgin and that is a huge endorsement. On original track, Put Your Lovin' Where It Belongs, Hensley digs in her heals vocally with a lot of heft.  Again, Chavez is hot on her heels hot, tasty riffs. A slow grinder with teeth. Classic, You Can Have My Husband, has a cool shuffle feel and again, right with Hansley's front work is Chavez smoking the strings... think Funderburgh. Viau sits in with a fat solo of his own giving the track a wailing kick in the back.  Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You is always a welcome favorite and Hensley shares the spotlight with Viau with a cool sax solo. Made famous by Elvis, Hard Headed Woman is a real rocker with a hot solo by Viau and super rockabilly riffs by Chavez. Excellent! Willie Dixon's I Just Want To Make Love To You has a real nice swing to it with some of the best vocals on the track and a free wheelin' guitar solo by Chavez. Very cool. Excellent jump original, Hot! Hot! Hot! really gets you shit moving with a tight bottom by Yearsley and Marcos but it's Hensley's enthusiasm and flaming guitar riffs that makes this track cool! Excellent! Koko Taylor's Voodoo Woman has a real nice funk to it again showcasing Chavez's cookin' style. This track has a great groove and I gotta say I'm glad I'm giving you something this hot before the holiday! Wow! Johnny Guitar Watson's Too Tired has a real nice groove and again Chavez steps up with incredible style. Hensley pounds it out with pro quality and teamed with Viau on sax and with Chavez...oh yeah! Wrapping the release is another Big Mama track, Ball and Chain. Now I gotta tell you, it's hard to beat Big Mama's original and equally hard to compare with Janis' version of this track, but this is a great closer. Clocking over 9 minutes, Hensley gives it her all and Chavez through an extended solo her incredible patience to build intensity slowly until ultimate eruption...I mean goose bumps. Excellent closer for a super release.



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Monday, June 24, 2013

VizzTone Label Group artist: Candye Kane featuring Laura Chavez - Coming Out Swingin' - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 25, 2013), Coming Out Swingin' from Candye Kane and it may be her best effort to date. Opening with the title track, Coming Out Swingin' Kane and notable guitarist Laura Chavez literally come out swinging!! This authentic swing track features really tasty guitar riffs but conjures the feel from the 40's with Bill Caballero on trumpet, April West on trombone, Jerry Viau on sax and tight tom tom work from Fred Rautmann. On Rock Me To Sleep, Kane leads the way with swell vocals and Chavez plays some remarkably clean guitar work backed by Sue Palmer on piano and Kennan Shaw on bass. I'm The Reason Why You Drink has a Chuck Berry flavor but with a twist of horns and of course Kane on vocals. Chavez steps up again on this track showing that she well knows the fretboard. Bill Watson also adds nice harp work on this track. One of my Personal favorites, Invisible Woman, is a slow bluesy ballad track with shimmery guitar work. Low fretboard guitar solos, and especially cleanly inventive ones always draw my attention and Chavez is all over this. Excellent! A catchy swinger, You Ain't All That gets you back up and rockin' and Kane's vocals are bounce nicely along with the support of Chavez. Have I mentioned that I love her guitar work on this release? I Wanted You To Walk has a bit of an old western (but rockabilly) feel to it and it's nicely done. Darling Baby is an old Holland, Dozier, Holland classic and possibly showcases Kane's voice better than any other track on the release. Barbed Wire Mouth is a rocker with a bit of punk sass. Kick out the stops and in with the surf. Twanging guitar riffs flow and Chavez again shows her mastery of the fretboard. Rick Estrin's What Love Can Do is another nice addition to this release. A R&B style track, Kane belts out the melody and the bands stays low in support. Leo Dombecki adds some really nice organ work to this track as well. In a tribute to New Orleans Kane and Chavez play Au Revoir Y'All, a track starting in classic NO strut style but developing to a full swing. Sue Palmer lays down some really nice keys on this track backed by the horns. Lalo Guerrero's Marijuana Boogie is a great choice to wrap up this release. Kane is in full tilt and Chavez is stepping on the gas. I can see my pal Still A Dog stompin' his foot and whistling away. Palmer again steps up and really rides the keys. This is surprisingly really really good. Check it out!

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