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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 Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

CD Woodbury - World's Gone Crazy - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, World's Gone Crazy, from CD Woodbury, and it's rich with vocal harmonies, blues rock sounds. Opening with Follow The River Home, a solid southern blues rock track with a great vocal blended intro, CD Woodbury is off to a terrific start. With Don Montana on drums and lead vocal, Patrick Mc Danel on bass and backing vocal and Mike Maring on keys and backing vocal, Woodbury on lead vocal and guitar rounds out this tight unit. I Didn't Know is a driving rocker with a hot bottom and features some screaming sax by Maring. Emerald City Blues is a strong blues ballad with a solid melody and ripping lead guitar making it a certain crowd favorite. South Of South Hill is a real nice jam rocker with intricate drum beats and a classic blues guitar riff. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Can't Eat That Stuff No More a clever shuffle with casual vocal and nicely crafted rhythms. Willie Dixon's Wang Dang Doodle gets a hi energy boogie beat with driving guitar and bass. Woodbury and Maring each take cool solos capping off a gritty blues track. Great remake. Hendrix's Hey Joe also gets a bluesy cover here with Maring and Woodbury each getting nice whacks at the solo apple. This is a real nice track second only to the original and possibly Roy Buchanan's cover and that's saying something. Wrapping the release is Preacher and the President , a cool blues rocker with a grinding guitar rhythm, organ richness and percussive vocals. Maring takes a cool solo on organ and Woodbury on guitar leaving you wanting more. 

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Cary Morin - Dockside Saints - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Dockside Saints, form Cary Morin and it's a cool blend of rhythms, pop and blues. Opening with ultra funky, Nobody Gotta Know, with it's New Orleans, flavor and mixes, Morin on guitars and vocals has terrific support from Lee Allen Zeno on bass, Brian Brignac on drums, Corey Ledet on accordion, Eric Adcock on piano and B3, Beau Thomas on fiddle, Celeste Di lorio on harmony vocals and Keith Blair and John Fohl on guitars, this is a terrific opener. Ballad, Exception To The Rule, has a strong melody and solid vocal blending. Morin's acoustic work balanced with Adcock's B3 makes for the top radio track for the release. Very nice.  High energy, Jamie Rae, has a cool accordion richness over it's tight drum rhythm and cool vocal harmonies. Another great track. I really like instrumental, Bare Trees with it's feeling of peace and solitude created by accordion, acoustic guitar, fiddle and nicely placed drum. Excellent! Instrumental. Cary's Groove starts off with simple acoustic guitar, drums and accordion, building throughout the track adding piano, bass, and electric guitar, turning into quite a jam. Rocker, Come The Rain is a strong closer with firm vocals, a tight drum beat and nicely styled steel guitar work. I think this is the best of Morin so far and I think a really solid release. 

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Cleopatra Blues artist: Joe Louis Walker - Blues Comin' On - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues Comin' On from Joe Louis Walker and it's a fireplug. Opening with rocker, Feed The Poor, a funky blues rocker, Walker on lead vocal and Jorma on lead guitar, John Bradford on bass, Dorian Randolph on drums, Juma Sultan on percussion and Bruce Katz. This track is heavy. Super backing vocals by Bradford, and Randolph almost give it a Daryl Hall edge. Cool opener. R&B track, Someday, Someway is certainly one of my favorites on the release with Carla Cooke at the mic. Her vocals are terrific and with Walker on backing vocal and guitar and joined by Lee Oskar and his classic harp tone, Eric Finland on keys, Bradford on bass and Randolph on drums. Excellent! Easy shuffle, Old Time Used To Be has Walker on 12 string and vocal, with Joh Sebastian on harp and  Keb Mo on slide. Katz has a real nice piano solo on this one and adds an overall bright feel to the track. Swampy Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man has a real nice groove with Walker on super lead vocal and guitar with Rick Estrin on harp and Waddy Wachtel on lead guitar. Funky, Uptown to Harlem is a cool James Brown boogaloo style track  with Jellybean Johnson on lead guitar and Eric Finland on organ. Wrapping the release is Arthur Lee's rad rocker, 7&7 is with Arlen Roth on lead guitar. With full reverb and sixties style guitar lead over some ferocious drumming by Randolph, this is a solid closer for a totally enjoyable release.


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Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Last Music Company artist: Bill Kirchen - The Proper Years - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Proper Years, from Bill Kirchen and it's strong. I'm certain that most readers know Bill but if not, he was the guitar fingers of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. That being known, you can expect that deep throaty telecaster guitar sound and rich country roots. Opening with Hammer of the Honky-Tonk  Gods, a swangin' country rocker with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, backed by Nick Lowe on bass, Geraint Watkins on bass, Austin de Lone on keys, Robert Trehorne on drums, Danny Levin on fiddle and Cindy Cashdoller and David Berzansky on steel guitar. Great opener. Working Man is a cool, country flavored track with solid 2 stepping beat. With great lead vocal and a really great bass background vocal among the others, this track is a standout. Remake of 60's pop hit, Devil In A Blue Dress, has a real bluesy feel with solid backing vocals by Sarah Carroll. Trish Anderson and Suzannah Espie. Kirchen puts on his best R&B vocal and slinky blues riffs. Acoustic rag, One More Day has a great light feel with stellar acoustic guitar riffs and fiddle (by Danny Levin). Excellent! A grungy rocker, Man in the Bottom of the Well features Elvis Costello and some really gritty guitar playing by Kirchen. This song is terrific! Commander Cody joins on I Don't Work That Cheap which is another terrific track with hints of Dylan and the Lost Planet Airmen. Very nice. On Disc 2, Kircher teams up with fleet fingered Dan Hicks on Word To The Wise. Cool lyrics, a great upbeat tempo and of course strong acoustic guitar riffs make for a great side 2 opener. Contemporary blues vocal legend, Maria Muldaur teams up with Kirchen on shuffle, Ain't Got No Time For the Blues. Breaking back to pure country and western on Tell Me The Reason. The is a great track with Kirchen on lead guitar and vocal, Jack O'Dell on drums and Paul Riley on bass and featuring Austin de Lone on piano. Really nice! Truck Stop At The End Of The World is a solid trucker song with classic Kirchen guitar riffs and a driving rock beat. Another classic and one from the Commander Cody songbook, Hot Rod Lincoln has great tempo and of course clever lyrics that accentuate the guitar riffs by Kirchen. Kirchen goes on to run classic country, Americana and rock riffs from the past. Cool flashback through music time. Country rocker, Oxblood has a really great feel with Butch Hancock on vocal with Kirchen who plays baritone guitar on this one. Balancing out the band is Gurf Morlix on guitar, David Carroll on bass, Rick Richards on drums and Austin de Lone on piano. Wrapping the release is Dylan's classic, The Times They Are A-Changin'. This is a complete album with few stones unturned. Well rounded with rock, Americana, blues and country, a lot of something for everyone.



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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Alpha Sun Records artist: Bridget Kelly Band - Dark Spaces - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Dark Spaces, from the Bridget Kelly Band and it's a strong blues rocker. Opening with Free Me, a sturdy blues rocker with Kelly on lead vocal and Tim on Fik on guitar, the band gets off to a good start with a good melody, and constant solid lead guitar work. Low slung title track, Dark Spaces gives Kelly a nice forum to showcase her vocals and Fik, who lays down constant and fluid lead lines to show his stuff. Very nice. I really like Fik's electric slide tones on Find My Way Back Home, with it's rural, flowing natural sound. Another track that i really liked was Things About To Change with sweet vocals by Kelly and well honed guitar lead by Fik. Ballad, Moments is sure to be to crowd favorite with strong vocal lead by Kelly and plenty of space for Fik to play ultra soulful lead guitar. Very nice. Another track with soaring lead is No Use In Tryin' and Fik really does a nice job playing fluid, expressive, blues lines. Kelly's vocals are clean and genuine. This is my favorite track on the release. Wrapping the release is Your Days Are Numbered with sassy lead work by Kelly and solid interplay with Fik. This is a strong closer for a solid release. 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jon Strahl Band - Heartache And Toil - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Heartache and Toil, from Jon Strahl Band and it 's a cool, gritty blues rocker. Opening with Hey Yeah, All Right a snappy but grimy blues number with great vocals and overdriven guitar tones from Strahl, solid bass work from Mitch Millhoff, simple drum rhythms from Nick Mallers, keys by Bill Mallers, and the addition of Joshua Silbert on sax, Bruce Knepper on trumpet, Charlie Krone on trombone, this band is is on its way. How Long sounds like a page right from the Mississippi hill country blues notebook. With it's simple, driving rhythm and guitar/vocal melodic lead, this track is terrific. With more of a jam approach on title track, Heartache and Toil, the band shows blues and jazz influences. An extended, all clean and rich guitar lead, Strahl leaves no question that he has chops. R&B ballad, The Weight I Feel shows Strahl's influence from yet another base and his voice lends itself nicely to this soulful effort and the warm vibe of Bill on organ leads nicely into a melodic guitar solo by Strahl. Wrapping the release is Indiana Moonrise featuring Strahl on straight up acoustic guitar, finger picked clean and bright. Excellent closer for a real solid release.


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Friday, July 24, 2020

VizzTone Label Group artist: Too Slim and the Taildraggers - The Remedy - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Remedy, from Too Slim and the Taildraggers, andI really like it! Opening with last Last Chance, a terrific blues rocker, Too Slim and the Taildraggers is up and running with the swagger of prime Stones or ZZ Top. With Tim Too Slim Langford on lead guitar and vocal, Jeff Shakeu Fowlkes on drums and vocal and Zach Kasik on bass, these guys are rockin! Devil's Hostage has a seductive droning bass line and Gibbons like vocals coaxing on the beautiful tone of Langford's guitar amp. John Lee Hooker style boogie, Keep The Party Rollin' has a super driving bottom, pushed along by the snap drumming of Fowlkes and the crafty harmonica work of Sheldon Ziro. Elmore James' Sunnyland Train is well dressed with exceptional slide work by Langford. Platinum Junkie is a strong funky blues number with classic Jason Ricci harmonica riffs. Wrapping the release is radio style track, Half A World Away, with it pleasing melody and straight ahead rock approach. This is a really strong release from Slim and I hope he keeps doing it.



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Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Smoke Wagon Blues Band - The Ballad of Albert Johnson - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Ballad of Albert Johnson, from The Smoke Wagon Blues Band and we got some tasty stuff here. Opening with title track, Ballad of Albert Johnson, a romping boogie with a great bass line courtesy Jason Colavecchia on bass and strong lead vocals and harmonica by Corey Lueck. With Mike Stubbs on guitar, Brandon Bruce on keys, Gordon Aeichele on sax, Steve Sherman on guitar, and Tibor Lukacs on drums, this is a strong opener. Bluesy ballad, Ain't Gonna Be Your Fool is a great showcase for Lueck's vocals and a super radio track. New Orleans flavored, Lay Say Lay has a great beat with great piano work by Bruce and snappy drum work by Lukacs and percussion by Sherman, topped off with really nice sax work by Aeichele and backing vocals by Stubbs, Bruce, Sherman, Colavecchia and Lukacs. Poor Man Blues has a great shuffle feel and gives Lueck a wide open stage to play his harmonica and he does a terrific job, followed by a soulful sax solo by Aeichele. Very cool. Another cool boogie track, Can't Take The Blues has an infectious groove with a strong bass line, super vocals, a solid sax solo by Aeichele and a tight mix. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Steaming Comrades Harp Boogie, a live track with a rhythmic Bo Diddley beat. Lueck leads the way on vocal and harp kind of reminding me of an old John Mayall performance and the band pumps it up all the way. Cool closer. 

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Nola Blue Records artist: Gregg Martinez - MacDaddy Mojeaux - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, MacDaddy Mojeaux, from Gregg Martinez (pronounced Mart nez with a silent i) and it's a cool soul and R&B set. Opening with Ray Charles' I Believe to My Soul, vocalist Gregg Martinez puts his own  R&B spin on  this classic track with a voice that shows loud and clear why he has lead such bands as King Fish, The Heat and The Boogie Kings. Backed by Tim Courville on drums, Charles Ventre on Hammond, Tony Daigle on percussion, Claude Salles on trombone, Allan Linker on trumpet and Ronnie Eades on sax, this is a great opener. Followed by Don Nix's Same Old Blues, Martinez digs deep down for a great soulful blues ballad, accented nicely by stinging guitar work. Very nice. Skylark's Wildflower is up next with a traditional soul mix but there's no taking from Martinez's pure vocals and style. Very nice with solid background vocals by Carla Benson and Evette Benton. One of my favorites on the release is original shuffle, Eva Delle strong vocals by Martinez with his swampy rhythm, Sonny Landreth on slide guitar, Anthony Dopsie on accordion and punchy horns. Tyrone Davis', Can I Change My Mind, is a perfect fit for Martinez and his vocal style. Plenty of people have covered this track but this and Billy Price/Roy Buchanan's cover stand out in my mind. Very nice with strong sax by Eades. Wrapping the release is a change up ballad, Randy Newman's, Marie. Every bit a soulful as any other track on the release but with a straight ballad delivery over piano. This is a solid closer. 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Toucan Cove Recording artist: Seth Power - Souvenir Acoustic - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Souvenir Acoustic, by Seth Power and it's a clean acoustic pop set. Opening with His Heart, with it's light piano and crisp percussion, Power's vocals are soft and nicely laid on acoustic guitar accompaniment. Imagine That is nicely crafted with an emphasis on rhythms and swaying movement. Power has a voice that is well suited to small clubs as targeted by his current touring schedule. My favorite track on the release is Zero Sum (Love Game) with it's bluesy ballad format and sweet melody. The radio star on the release is Get Up with it's forward rhythm, strong vocal blending and horn reinforcement.  Another bluesy ballad, Notice is another favorite with a strong melody and a delicate vocal touch. Closure is a nicely composed ballad with sensitive vocals and nice guitar accompaniment. Leading into wrapping track, His Heart with lively percussion and sultry acoustic guitar work, this is an appropriate way to close. 

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Endless Blues Records artist: Eric Hughes Band - Postcard from Beale Street - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Postcard from Beale Street, by Eric Hughes Band and it contains a variety of music styles and turns. Opening with shuffle, Ain't Whipped Yet, Hughes is upfront on lead vocal and sweaty slide with Walter Hughes on backing guitar and vocal, Leo Goff on bass, and Brian Aylor on drums. Great guitar tones by Eric give this track a great spice. Oh, Booze! has a terrific, early Beale feel with solid vocals by Eric, with trumpet by Marc Franklin, Kirk Smothers on sax and Mick Kolassa on tussolin, spoons and backing exclamations. Ballad, Homesick Angel is the definite radio track on the release with a strong melody, solid backing vocals and tight accompaniment. Straight up acoustic blues ballad, Blackberry Patch has Eric on lead vocal and slide resonator over Walter on guitar. Simple and solid. Blues rocker, Waiting For That Day has a super boogie (woogie) feel with a great bass line by Goff, organ by Steff and harmonica by Eric. Possibly my favorite track on the release. Wrapping the release is It's 4:20 Somewhere, a bouncy track with a nice mixture of harmonica, guitar and slide with an almost Klezmer sound. Cool closer for an interesting release. 

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Delta Roots Records artist: Gerald McClendon - Can't Nobody Stop Me Now - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Can't Nobody Stop Me Now, from Gerald McClendon and it's a solid dose of old school soul and R&B. Opening with title track, Can't Nobody Stop Me Now, Gerald McClendon sets a real nice soul groove featuring Herb Walker, Joe Burba and Mark Wydra on guitar, Roosevelt Purifoy on keys, Art Love on bass and Twist Turner on drums. With punchy horns by John Brumbach and Skinny Williams on sax, this is a super opener. Soulful, Where Do We Go From Here, is one of my favorite tracks on the release with strong vocals and wailing sax by Williams. Runnin' Wild has swagger with cool trumpet work and some of McClendon's best vocal work on the release. Another of my favorites is It's Over Now, a bluesy ballad with a great melody and nicely defined guitar work. Slow blues number, You Can't Take My Love, has a really sassy sax solo by Williams further accenting it's overall soulful melody and nicely phrased vocals. Wrapping the release is I Think About You, a really nice soul track with easy horns, surrounding the warm vocals of McClendon and with another power solo by Williams on sax. This is a really cool release and one that competes with the original soul music of the 60's. Very nice. 

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Stony Plain Records artist: Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne - Go, Just Do It! - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Go, Just Do It!, from Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne, and he covers the gamut from R&B to Rap. Opening with title track, Just Do It, a funky, R&B blues number with Dawn "Tyler" Watson singing along with Wayne on lead vocal, and with Russell Jackson on super bass, pumped by Jerry Cook on sax, Vince Mai on trumpet, Yuji Ihara on guitar, Joey DiMarco on drums and of course Wayne on keys. Solid Opener. Percy Mayfield's, You're In For A Big Surprise features Diane Schuur on lead vocal with Wayne and is my favorite track on the release with it's smooth, bluesy feel and strong vocals and super sax work by Cook. Very nice. Shuffle, Motor Mouth Woman is another favorite on the release with a moving beat, swinging vocals, nice piano work from Wayne and solid horns. JJ Cale's, Call Me The Breeze, maintains a bit of Cale's original rural feel but with just the right dose of soul, cool piano work by Wayne and a nice dash of blues courtesy Tank Doucette on harp. With it's "band" feel, Bumpin' Down The Highway is a great instrumental with strong lead sax work by Cook, soulful trumpet work by Mai and swinging piano work by Wayne. Excellent! Wrapping the release is another solid driver, Let The Rock Roll with Wayne right up front on piano. This is an excellent showcase of his piano styling and a solid closer. 

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Cleopatra Blues artist: Shirley King - Blues For A King - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues For A King, from BB King's daughter, Shirley King and it's jam packed with blues and legends. Opening with Joe Louis Walker's All Of My Lovin' , King is up front on lead vocal backed by Walker on guitar and Jurgen Engler on guitar, bass and drums. Holding firm on a R&B setup, King sets a straight 60's styling radio track. With super guitar work by Elvin Bishop under King's bluesy vocals, I Did You Wrong has a cool shuffle beat and a tight bottom. An unexpected rock gem, Steve Winwood's Can't Find My Way Home features Martin Barre with some excellent guitar and is one of my favorites and also possibly King's best vocal effort on the release. Gallow Pole maintains it's folk roots but with a rock edge and underlying guitar work by Harvey Mandel with really is a strong compliment. A rework of a Jr Wells track features vocal and harp by Wells, adding guitar by Walker, bass by Engler and strong vocal leads by King. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Etta James' At last using the conventional arrangement and featuring Kings own vocals. With the addition of Steve Cropper on guitar, a solid closer. 

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Gravel & Grace - Self Titled - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent self titled release from Gravel & Grace and and it showcases the pair's pop sensibilities. Opening with R&B track, Scares Me, Ava Grace leads the way with solid vocals, and solid sax work by William Melendez , backed by Issac llewis on guitar, Ricky Galvan on guitar, Ava on keys, Joshua Broom on bass and Raymond Vazira on drums. Bottles is the definite radio track on the release with a strong melody, Fiona Apple like lead vocal by Grace and a screaming sax solo by Melendez. Rihanna's soulful ballad, Love On The Brain is a cool showcase for the versatility of Grace's vocal style and nice backing vocals by Earl Matthews. With a New orleans spin, Matthews leads off on Picture Perfect. With it more traditional blues format, cool piano work by Grace and nice guitar soloing, this is my favorite track on the release. Wrapping the release is Wash My Blues with it's pop blues styling. Nicely crafted sax intro, piano work and solid vocals by Matthews make this a strong closer for the release. 

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Delmark Records artist: Linsey Alexander - Live At Rosa's - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live From Rosa's, from Linsey Alexander, and it really captures Alexander in his element. Opening with cool shuffle track, Please Love Me, Alexander on lead vocal and guitar starts electrifying the audience right from the first note. Joined by Sergei Androshin on guitar, Roosevelt Purifoy on keys, Ron Simmons on bass and "Big" Ray Stewart on drums, they set a tight groove. On blues classic made popular by Freddie King and later Eric Clapton, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Alexander really digs in on guitar and with essential organ work by Purifoy, lays down my favorite track on the release. Alexander's vocals are real and his soloing inspired. Another cool shuffle is Goin' Out Walkin' and Alexander works his guitar against his vocals nicely. Hi steppin' Snowing In Chicago has a cool driving beat with fluid guitar lines and energized organ soloing by Purifoy. Wrapping the release is funky, Going Back To My Old Time Used To Be, with a cool bass line by Simmons, and with just the right amount of organ and electric piano by Purifoy. Stewart's drumming is tight and Alexander steps up with some real nice soloing of his own to wrap up this solid set. 

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Delmark Records artist: Johnny Burgin - No Border Blues - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, No Border Blues, from Johnny Burgin and I really like it. Opening with One Day You're Gonna Get Lucky, a straight Chicago blues shuffle featuring Iper Onishi on vocal and harp, Takagiman on drums, Hirinori "Zee" Yanaga on drums Yoshi Mizuno and of course Johnny Burgin on guitar. Excellent opener. Burgin takes the mic on Sunnyland with Yoshimi Hirata on bass, Lee Kanehira  on piano, Kaz Nogio on harp, Mizuno on guitar and Takagiman on drums. This is an excellent track with strong harp work and Burgins always super vocals. Piano Boogie, Pumpkin's Boogie is a great showcase for Lee Kanehira on vocal and piano and Burgin on guitar and with the addition of Ataka Suzuki on drums and Yanaga on bass. Burgin has the mic again on Rattlesnake joined by Mizuno on guitar, Onishi on harmonica, Takagiman on drums and Yanaga on bass. Burgin has the mic again on Old School Player, an easy shuffle with Onishi, Kanehira and Mizuno. Onishi's phrasing works really nicely with Burgin's own giving this track a particular continuity. Very nice. Burgin has such an ease with the way he sings that it's refreshing in blues music. Two Telephones features Minoru Maruyama on guitar with Stephen Daugherty on drums , Chris Matheos on bass and Burgin on lead vocal. A cool slower blues gives Maruyama a nice opportunity to show his stuff. Samurai Harp Attack features Onishi, Nogio and Kotez on a cool harp driven shuffle with Yanaga on bass and Takagiman on drums. Very cool. Wrapping the release is the Japanese version of Sweet Home Osaka (Chicago) with Burgin, Kanehira and Tanaka on vocal, Nogio and Onishi on harp, Kanehira on piano, Yanaga on bass and Suzuki on drums. It's cool to see a blend of cultures for a singular music. Johnny always puts together a great project and this one is no exception. Super job! 

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