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

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Reaction Records artist: Randy McAllister - Power Without Power - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Power Without Power, by Randy McAllister and I like it. Opening with Surprise!!!, a smooth shuffle with solid vocals and harmonica work by Randy McAllister and with some real nice slide work by Brandon Hudspeth making this a strong opener. (Somebody) Ease My Troublin' Mind is a terrific track in the vein of Sam Cooke and a terrific showcase for McAllister's soulful vocals. Fanned by the tight rhythm work of Hudspeth, this is my favorite track on the release. Envy's Embrace has the format of a country blues with a "train" rhythm by Hudspeth on acoustic guitar and with McAllister on harmonica working in close unison with Hudspeth on slide. Very nice. Not Everybody Leaves (Her Words) is a soulful ballad and another great showcase for McAllister's fine vocals. With the simplest of acoustic guitar rhythm and tasteful slide work by Hudspeth, this is another super track. Wrapping the release is Like Nothing Else, a strong radio style track with great soulful vocals. The ever present slide work of Hudspeth really adds warmth to this release giving it just the right spice. 


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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Reaction Records artist: Randy McAllister - Spitball, Shatter and Patch - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Spitball, Shatter and Patch, from Randy McAllister and it's a healthy dose of country blues. Opening with Relax Watch the Crash, McAllister on lead vocal teams up with Heather Newman on backing vocal and supported by Brandon Hudspeth on slide guitar and Bill Mckemy on tuba take a soft acoustic approach to the blues with a lightly country style. A quiet but effective opener. Slamming the door open on The Loudest Chicken with the addition of Cliff Moore on bass, and McAllister's own drums Hudspeth winds up the slide and McAllister really winds it up. A hard driving blues rocker. Soulful, Kingsland is one of my favorites on the release with expressive vocals and harmonica by McAllister over well balanced acoustic picked and slide guitar. Pure blues is the story on The Song That Writes Itself, with a solid melody, vocals and BB King like phrasing by Hudspeth. Wrapping the release is blues rocker, The Girl's In Love (With Herself), a curious but strong rocker with a tight rhythm, electric slide guitar and a solid vocal delivery by McAllister. This is a super closer for a real cool release. 

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reaction Records artist: Randy McAllister - Fistful of Gumption - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Fistful of Gumption, from Randy McAllister and the Scrappiest Band in the Motherland and it's flavorful. Opening with C'Mon Brothers and Sisters, a southern flavored soul track with a cool rock edge, features McAllister on vocal and drums backed by Rob Dewan on guitar, Maya Van Nuys on fiddle, Matt Higgins on bass and Andrea Wallace on backing vocals. Cool opener. On Time For The Sun To Rise, McAllister's vocals are warm and Dewan's guitar riffs have a magical Mali like sound. A nice violin solo by Van Nuys is really nice and Dewan's guitar soloing is fluid and inviting. Ride To Get Right has a real Cajun flavor with Van Nuys and McAllister (on drums) really putting on the steam. Roll With The Flow has a real nice revival like sound with warm backing vocals by Benita Arterberry-Burns and nice piano work by Carson Wagner. Aggressive rocker, My Stride showcases some real nice Rory Gallagher like slide work by Dewan and a tight melody making it one of my favorites on the release. Soulful, The Oppressor, it a really strong showcase for McAllister's vocals with breaks from traditional soul formatting to almost classical styling. Dewan really grips it on this one with intensity and Van Nuys' violin work is very nice. Masterful. Leave A few Wrong Notes has a great gospel rock feel bringing me back to early Leon Russell. This track just has great rhythm with solid vocals and standout piano work by Wagner and a great bottom by McAllister. On shuffle track, Band With The Beautiful Bus, McAllister and Wallace blend vocals particularly nicely and Dewan's country influenced riffs make this track another of my release favorites. Wrapping the release is blues rocker, East Texas Scrapper, with a lot of swagger, grinding guitar riffs light, flowing fiddle lines and flavorful harp work by McAllister. This is a really cool closer to a nicely constructed set.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reaction Records artist: Randy McAllister - Gristle To Gold - New release review

I just received the newest release, Gristle to Gold from Randy McAllister and it has a lot of soul. Opening with The Kid With the Really Old Soul, McAllister on lead vocals and harp is joined by Rob Dewan on guitar, Matt Higgins on bass, Maya Van Nuys on fiddle, Kevin Shermerhorn on drums and Andrea Wallace on backing vocals for a real R&B style rocker. The Push really shows the strength of McAllister's vocals and features solid vocal backing from Wallace. I particularly like Dewan's guitar work on this track. Something That Don't Cost A Dime has solid R&B roots with gospel fusion reinforced by the driving bass lines of Higgins and backing vocals by Wallace. Crappy Food, No Sleep, A Van and A Bunch Of Songs actually puts me in mind of Golden Earring in blue. With punctuation by McAllister on harp and backing vocals by Benita Aterberry-Burns, this track gets rockin'. I'm Like A Boomerang is one of my favorite tracks on the release with solid R&B feel and a strong melody. Very nice! Boogie track, You Lit The Dynamite, McAllister shares lead vocals with Arterberry-Burns and with Mike Morgan on bass, and Eric Smith on drums, Dewan rips a real nice guitar solo. Someone's Been There is a quiet ballad, primarily McAllister on vocal and Carson Wagner on keys. This track is well written and nicely performed. Bowling Pin is a fun, rolling train, gospel spirited track with flaming slide and driving organ by Wagner. Glass Half Full has it's R&B style reinforced nicely by Steve Howard on trumpet and Jeff Robbins on sax. With it's sassy rhythm, A Whole Lot Of Nothing gets you twisting in your seat and Dewan rips of a pretty nice solo over retro style vocals by McAllister and Aterberry-Burns on vocals. Hey Hooker has a swinging R&B style with strong lead and backing vocals. With some playful guitar and keyboard solo's this track rocks. Wrapping the release is Ninja Bout Cha, a funky rocker with some excellent slide riffs by Dewan and a cool organ side. This track has Zappa meets Allmans meets Edgar Winter. Pretty cool closer.

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