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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 Mule. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mule. Show all posts

Friday, March 1, 2019

Omnivore Recordings artist: Henry Townsend - Mule - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Mule, by Henry Townsend, and it's solid old school blues. Opening with Bad Luck Dice, Townsend is on vocal and piano laying down really strong piano blues. This is a great intro of things to come. Townsend's vocal wailing continues into Things Have Changed with terrific piano and added mandolin by Yank Rachell. On boogie piano track, The Old Man's Soul, Townsend changes it up a bit but it's all Townsend with signature piano style and vocals. Very nice. Vernell Townsend has excellent lead vocals on Tears Come Rollin' Down with additional guitar to henry by Norman Merritt. One of my favorite tracks on the release is It's A Hard Road To Travel with some of the more refined vocals by Townsend with smooth piano lead. Rachell joins Townsend on guitar on Talkin' Guitar Blues, another solid romping blues track with a cool jagged rhythm. Piano instrumental, Alley Strut is a cool piano boogie with Townsend on piano and in his traditional style. Excellent. Vernell is back up front on vocal with Henry on Can't You See. These two voices mesh together quite nicely with only jangly guitar behind. Rachell's mandolin playing on Dark Clouds Rising is very strong and again a superior vocal and piano effort by Henry. Another favorite is Nice and kind with crisp piano work and vocal by Henry. Rachell and Henry play guitar on Goin' Back Down South and with strong conviction, delivers super melodic vocals. Wrapping the release is Since You've Come Back Home with Henry on vocal and piano and Merritt on guitar. This is an excellent closer for a really strong early blues recording. This release has excellent fidelity and includes 8 previously unissued tracks. Very fine. 

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Port City Prophets - Mule - New Release Review

Been trying to write this review for a few days but life keeps getting in the way. I just received the new release, Mule by Port City Prophets and it's a blast. Opening with Close Your Eyes, Tim Kirkendall shows who's boss with a swingin' blues number and solid vocals. On tongue in cheek Jesus Saved My Soul, But... , Troy Tolle gets a fat slide tone going on a traditional slow 12 bar blues format. The rawness of this track with open slide tuning, basic drums by Henry Ancrum and the simplicity of Kirkendall on bass and vocals makes it one of my personal favorites on the release. I Already Know is a gospel/soul style track with added organ by William Nance. This is a particularly cool track showing the best of Kirkendall's vocals. Tolle steps up with a nice guitar solo on this track as well. Mule Is A One Horse Town has a lot of the construction characteristics of the early British blues tracks and I really like it. Possibly the best track on the release. Still keeping everything basic instrumentally and then adding solo's as highlights these guys handle it like old pros. When The Lights Go Down In St. Louis has a bit of a Don Nix and a bit of Skydog influence making for a real cool track. Tolle does a nice job managing his resonator with creative riffs. Done Changed My Mind has a slower blues ballad form giving Kirkendall a great opportunity to vent his soulful pipes. The song has a certain jazz influence following along the lines of earlier blues bands with jazz influence like Mule and the early Allmans with instrumental roller coaster rides and accents. Very cool. Let Me Breathe is another super track with a organ intro and Kirkendall showing over and again his skills as a key vocalist on today's blues scene. Tolle has an unusual solo style on lead throwing riffs not unlike Sam Andrew of Big Brother. No Time is a bit of a rock shuffle with a loose jam feel. I Used To Love You has a bit of a funky feel but with fat slide guitar sounds. Pluff Mud, a light jazzy track turned boogie, seals up the rear. A smooth instrumental rocker, features some nice bass riffs from Kirkendall and a nice organ ride by Nance. Tolle takes the lead playing a playful guitar melody over the solid rhythm. Overall a very good release with some outstanding music.

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