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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 Lee Thornberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lee Thornberg. Show all posts

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Jesi-Lu Records artist: Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps - Live - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live, from Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps and it's jam packed full of blues, R&B and soul. Opening with In The Pink, a funky, R&B number with hot vocal work and keys by Terresa James, Terry Wilson on bass, Billy Watts on guitar, Herman Matthews on drums, Lee Thornburg on trumpet, and Ron Dziubla on sax. Solid opener. Put The Squeeze On Me has great blues feel and James really works it hard, old school style and Watts lays down a real nice guitar lead giving the track James Brown like fever. Soulful, Don't Make A Habit Of It, is a smooth, radio ready, track with a great melody and nicely showing off James' vocal work. With the addition of Paulie Cerra on sax this track has the strength of a Van Morrison track with the super soul of James. Very nice. One of my favorite tracks on the release is ballad, The Day The Blues Came To Call with a strong melody, expressive vocal phrasing and a nice guitar solo by Watts. Very nice. With a calypso feel, I Want It All, has real pizzazz. James vocals are primo and her piano playing is hot. Joe Sublett on sax and Darrell Leonard on trumpet really spice things but it's the drumming of Tony Braunagel that pushes it over the edge. Wrapping the release is Long Way From Texas with it's Chuck Berry style drive. James' piano work is great and Cerra's sax solo pushes it. Add in a dirty guitar solo by Watts and you've got a great closer. 

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Know Howe Music artist: Alice Howe - Visions - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Visions, by Alice Howe. Visions opens with Twilight, a mostly acoustic folk/pop track with Alice Howe on lead vocal, harmony and acoustic guitar backed by Freebo on bass and harmony, JT Thomas on electric piano, Fuzzbee Morse on electric guitar, John Molo on drums and Augie on harmony vocal. Still On My Mind is a pure radio track with a great melody surrounding Howe's pure vocal. With the addition of Jeff Fiedler on electric slide guitar, a warm presentation. With a smooth changeup on What We Got Is Gold, JT is on accordion adding yet another dimension to this warm palette and Freebo's skill full bass hand adds really nice interest. Sam Cooke's Bring It On Home To Me is sweet and pure. Not too much drama and just the right amount of presentation provides a nice showcase for Howe's vocal with Lee Thornburg on trumpet and Paul Perez on sax. Muddy Waters' classic, Honey Bee gets a total rework with a quiet soulful style and textural guitar riffs by Morse over the support of JT on piano. Wrapping the release is Bob Dylan's, Don't Think Twice, It's Alright with acoustic guitar, lush vocal harmonies by Howe and Freebo who also accompanies on bass. This is a real nice closer for this pop/folk entry to the market.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Cleopatra Records artist: Arthur Adams - Here To Make You Feel Good - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Here To Make You Feel Good, from Arthur Adams and it's solid gold. Opening with Tear the House Down, a funky track with a definite dance feel, features Adams on lead guitar and vocal, backed by Ronnie Laws on sax, David Leach on percussion, Reggie McBride on bass, Hense Powell on keys, and James Gadson on drums.  Smooth, Latin influenced R&B style track, Pretty Lady has a real nice melody and with Freddie Washington on bass. Adams gets his guitar "singing" with Santana like flair over the strong percussion of Gadson. Very nice. Adams puts in a particularly strong vocal effort on radio track, Forgive Me. The addition of Lee Thornberg and Lester Lovett on trumpet, as well as Bill Bergman on sax gives the track an overall warmer feel and Adams' jazzy guitar lead shines. My personal favorite on the release is excellent blues number, By Myself, with BB King styling. Adams is strong vocally and on guitar with Thornberg, Lovett and Bergman on horns making it feel like a fresh new friend. Very nice. Wrapping the release is a cool instrumental shuffle, Little Dab'll Do Ya, featuring Adams jamming over the heat with Gadson, Powell and Washington. Solid closer for a fun release. 

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Moondogg Records artist: Johnny Ray Jones - Feet Back In The Door - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Feet Back In The Door, by Johnny Ray Jones and it's quite good. Opening with title track, Feet Back In The Door, Johnny Ray Jones show strong soul roots with a great rhythm and horn section. His vocals are strong, joined by Mike Finnigan on piano, Hutch Hutchinson on bass, and Tony Braunagel on drums and topped off with Joe Sublett on sax, Darrell Leonard on trumpet and Teresa James on backing vocals. Very nice. I really like the bass work on Come Up And See Me Sometime which really carries Finnigan's organ line and sets a cool stage for Jones to strut. Jones' vocals on High Cost Of Loving and Johnny Lee Schell throws down some stinging blues guitar riffs making this one of my favorites on  the release. Z.Z. Hill's, I'm A Blues Man has a great balance of heavy bass, big brass, snappy drums and warm vocals giving Jones and Schell a wide open slate to sing and play. Very nice. Allen Toussaint's A Certain Girl is always a great track with New Orleans flair, and a real nice sax solo by Sublett. The playful vocal interplay is super. Original track, In The Heart Of The City has a real nice melody and Schell's melodic guitar solo further enhances the radio drive on this track. Wrapping the release is Leon Russell's Hearts Have Turned To Stone. Using classic Leon riffs throughout but with his own signature, Jones closes nicely with smart piano flair from Finnigan, nice vocal highlights by James and tight brass punctuation by Leonard.



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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

811 Gold Records artist: Laura Tate - Let's Just Be Real - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Let's Just Be Real, from Laura Tate and it's a light jazzy smooth. Opening with Steve Bruton's Nobody Get's Hurt, vocalist, Laura Tate baits you in with her warm voice, backed by Terry Wilson on bass, Billy Watts on guitar, Jeff Paris on keys, Tony Braunagel on drums, Lee Thornberg on brass, Paulie Cerra on sax and Leslie Smith on percussion. I always like when music is nicely woven like a fine fabric and this track is just that. Original soul track, If That Ain't Love, has a strong radio feel with a catchy melody, nice sax work and an interesting rhythm. Cerra lay out a real nice sax solo on this track and backing vocals add nicely to the mix. lightly salted Latin rhythm on Can't Say No has a great feel and Watts' guitar solo is particularly nice. Thin Lizzy's Boys Are Back In Town gets a balladeer's rework and I find it quite nice. I feel that it will appeal strongly to the pop radio market. With it's orchestral arrangement, Still Got The Blues is a really nice showcase for Tate's vocals and the horns do a really nice job warming the track. Watts lays down a particularly nice job playing a cleanly articulated guitar solo as a highlight in the track. With Teresa James joining on vocals, I'll Find Someone Who Will has a cool jazz/rock feel like one associated with Sting. Another nice sax solo by Cerra and tight brass work by Thornberg dresses this track nicely. I Need A Man is another sultry blues track with particularly nice brass work by Thornberg. With strong piano work by Paris this track strengthens the release ever further. Wrapping the release is pop rocker, Wildest Dreams, a definite radio track and possible movie theme. Tate is enjoying herself and I think you will too.



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