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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 Nerus Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nerus Records. Show all posts

Friday, April 9, 2021

Nerus Records artist: The Hitman Blues Band - Not My Circus, Not My Monkey - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Not My Circus, Not My Monkey, from the Hitman Blues Band and it's definitely got some cool angles. Opening with title track, Not My Circus, Russell "Hitman" Russell is upfront on lead vocal and guitar, backed by Kevin Bents on keys, Mike Porter on bass and backing vocals, Guy La Fountaine on drums, Mikey Vitale on alto sax, John Kelly on tenor sax, Eric Altarac on trumpet, Nick Clifford on bari sax, and Joanna Alexander on backing vocals. A clever radio style track with full horn backing, this track shows some real nice slide guitar work by Hitman as well.  Buy That Man A Drink has a great Rhumba rhythm and Altarac's trumpet work stands out nicely. Blind Willie Johnson gets a modern, blues rock rework with cool electric piano and guitar soloing giving it nice punch. A funky rework on John The Revelator works a balance of drums and horns with strong backing vocals making this one of Hitman's best vocal efforts. Hot solos by Mike Katzman on organ and guitar solo by Hitman definitely embellish my favorite track on the release. Up tempo, Walk With You, is another radio track from this release with it's memorable melody and tightly blended instrumentation including a strong bari solo by Clifford. Soulful, Everybody But Me has the bones of a 50's ballad with upfront vocals by Hitman, piano rhythm by Bents, a nicely articulated jazz style guitar solo by Hitman and solid horn backing. Wrapping the release is Go Down Fighting with a serious Texas style guitar lope and heavy handed drum work gives Hitman a grate opportunity to show his contemporary blues chops concluding this release. 


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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Nerus Records artist: The Hitman Blues Band - The World Moves On - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, The World Moves On, from The Hitman Blues Band, and it's a lot of fun. Opening with Bad, Bad Man, The Hitman Blues Band stomps onto the scene with a real cool rocker. Led by Russell "Hitman" Alexander, this band has a great swagger with Hitman's strong vocal attack and slide guitar work, firmly backed by Kevin Bents on piano and organ, Mike Porter on bass and Guy LaFountaine on drums. That's What It's Like To Be A Man is a cool boogie track with a cool driving bass line from Glassman and great slide work from Hitman. Very cool! Rocker, Don't You Tempt Me, has a modern blues rock beat. Hitman really delivers on vocals and horn backing by Mikey Vitale on tenor and Nick Clifford on bari give the track full traction. Moving On reminds me quite a bit of I've been Down So Long By The Doors. Another gem, this track not only features super slide work from Hitman, Clifford and Vitale on sax but nice organ work from Kevin Bents on piano and Guy LaFountaine on drums. Two Minute Warning has an easy, Steeley Dan jazz rock feel with easy rhythm guitar, nicely stylized guitar solos and solid sax work from Vitale and Clifford. The World Moves On is a solid radio track with a classic sax solo from Vitale. Neil Alexander leads off Two Trains Running on harp and Mike Porters bass line holds down the beat under Clifford and Vitale on sax and Kevin Bents on keys. Another cool sax solo on this track gives it a poke in the arm and a double stop riddled guitar solo leading into a nice piano riff. Johnny Gale takes off on a nice bass solo supported by Bernard Purdie on drums. Very cool. Catch-22 Blues has a laid back feel with light drum work by Bernard Purdie under excellent sax work and cool lead vocals, Bobby Forrester on keys and stylized guitar lead by Hitman. Ray Alexander sets in some really nice vibes for a different feel altogether and this Charles Brown styled track sets a nice pace. Ballad, Angel In The Shadows features Richard Crooks on drums, Seth Glassman on bass, Murray Weinstock on piano and Kevin Rymer on organ. I really hear a lot of similarity to Donald Fagen on delivery and vocal timbre. Radio bound. Rock n Roller, Jenny Goodbye, has a strong boogie woogie beat and power horn saxs. Hitman slips in some real nice slide work but it's the sax solos by Michael Snyder that nails this one. Hitman brings the lights down low for I'm All About You with only piano and his vocals on the intro. Slowly building this soulful ballad with real nice piano work by Bents and cool guitar and horn accents give this track a great feel. Vitale rips out a great solo on this one and backing vocals by Joanna Alexander and Nancy Hampton really help to give this track a spiritual feel. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Willie Dixon's Hoochie Coochie Man and you've likely not heard it done like this. A flat out boogie done LaGrange style, this track is laying down flames. Vitale is up first with a smoking sax solo cushioned by Bents on organ. Clifford doesn't let any grass grow under his feet either with a sky high bari sax solo that will set you back in your chair. Porter's bass line and LaFontaine's drums keep this train on the track and Hitman has the phrasing just right. Bents takes a real nice electric piano solo leading up to a smoking hot guitar closer by Hitman. Excellent closer to a real strong release!

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  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

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