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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

Monday, October 25, 2021

Charlie Barath - Just Me And My Friend (s) - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Just Me and My Friend (s) by Charlie Barath and it's quite good. Opening with a refined field holler, The Forgotten Man, It's just Charlie Sutton on vocal and Barath on harmonica. I really like this track as an opener with it's entry to the blues and it's basic simplicity.  Breaking into a full blues rocker, Travelin' Woman gives Barath the opening to show his Chicago style harmonica skills, backed by Jimmy Adler on guitar, Mike Law on bass, Gordon Grottenthaler on drums and John Burgh on organ. Really nice. Another change in directions on Ohio, with it's back country (almost western) folk style. I really like this track with Barath leading on vocal and harmonica, adding Jeff Scheller on acoustic bass, Pete Freeman on dobro, Ray Bruckman on mandolin and fiddle. Excellent! Open the swinging doors and welcome in full honky tonk country and western, Little Turtle Nightlight. With Sam Stuckey joining on harmony vocal, Scheller on acoustic bass, Joey Pinchotti on drums, Freeman on pedal steel and Bruckman on fiddle, this is my favorite track on the release. Excellent! No Smoking is a contemporary blues romp with a real nice opportunity for Jimmy Alder to stretch a little on guitar and for Barath to show his traditional harmonica skills. Another really nice track. Much Better Now is a really cool country blues track putting me in mind of a Taj Mahal album for the way back using tuba as the primary rhythm instrument. With Roger Day on tuba and Barath on lead vocal and harmonica, very cool. Another unusual track with an early rag style is The Briar Hopper with Chris Sutton on guitar, Barath on harmonica and Day on tuba. It's not just quirky...it's really good. Another of my favorites on the release is High Ball and A Covered Dish. With curious lyrics, cool vocals and harp by Barath, Max Schang on guitar, Gerry Boorish on acoustic bass, Bert Lerini on drums, John Burgh on piano, this track is really solid. Another honky tonk style western track is She Drives Me to Drink. OK. I admit that I love this style music and it's great. Barath on vocal and harmonica, Sam Stuckey on guitar, Pinchotti n drums, Burgh on piano and Pete Freeman on pedal steel, I love it! Wrapping the release is simple acoustic blues, One Way Gal. Bill Weiner on vocal and acoustic guitar and Barath on harmonica wrap this very enjoyable release. Gotta say, very fine job! 


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Friday, October 22, 2021

Hughes Taylor - Modern Nostalgia - New Release Review


 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Modern Nostalgia, from Hughes Taylor and it's a cool flashback on blues interpretation over the past 50 years. Opening with bluesy rocker, Treat Me Right, lead vocalist and guitar player Hughes Taylor sounds like a well seasoned rocker. With tight bass and drum rhythm and his own rhythm guitar riffs, Hughes gets a cool groove and his KW Shepherd like slashing lead makes this opener a prime radio track. Easy paced, Dreamily blends contemporary rock music, with Dicky Betts guitar phrasing and Allman Brothers dual guitar leads to create a solid and familiar feel. Rocker, Highwayman, is one of my favorites on the release with a driving rhythm and ragtag slide work. Paired lead vocal and prime Savoy Brown like construction and Kim Simmonds style soloing makes this an ass kicker. Trouble is my favorite track on the release with a Blind Faith kind of intro and soulful vocals. I really do appreciate the Clapton like riffs bringing back the authority he once played with back in the 60's in a contemporary forum. Extended runs and solid well executed riffs really make this a no contest for best track. Wrapping the release is Excuses, a slower blues with heavy BB King fused guitar riffs. This is a great closer with Taylor taking King's notorious riffs out to the extreme not unlike Clapton or Bonamassa on their own efforts. Very nice. 


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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Jimmy Carter - Blind Faith - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (September 20, 2021), Blind Faith, from Jimmy Carter (Co-Founding member of The Blind Boys of Alabama) and it takes pieces of a number of genres of music and blends them together nicely. Opening with After The Storm, Carter on lead vocal, is joined by Joey Williams with some nicely finessed gypsy style guitar, Ryan Joseph on violin, Steven Ray Ladson on bass and tidy drum rhythms by Chris Marshak. Solid opener. With a cool R&B feel, Dream On, has a snappy rhythm and super backing vocals. With a firm bass line. forward trombone solo by Freddie Lonzo, and piano backing by Max Leake, this is one of my favorites on the release. Charlie Musselwhite  lays in some nice harmonica work on Find Your Way Home with the addition of Joseph on violin, and a jazzy piano solo by Peter Levin. Wrapping the release is blues shuffle/gospel track, Why Me, with Musselwhite, on harmonica, Ron Pullman on guitar and powerful choral backing by the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. This is a solid first release by Carter and one with a lot of flavor.


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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Tourbo Music Artist: Mala Oreen - Awake - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Awake, from Mala Oreen and it is really strong. Opening with Ragged Queen, a crystal clear composition of folk style music with Mala Oreen on lead vocal and guitar, and with sweet dobro slide by Fats Kaplin and Joshua Brit on mandolin my first impression is this music was not created in the US as the sound is so pure and beautiful. Oreen's voice is so authentic and untouched it makes you question how. Excellent!  Another track which takes best advantage of the purity of Oreen's voice is Soldier On, with acoustic guitar, minimal backing vocals by Garrison Starr and warm cello by Chelsea McGough. Title track, Awake is another beautifully pure composition with Oreen's vocal, poised with her own violin work and acoustic guitar by Donegan. Mosiac has just a little more American open country style but with a still "untouched" by the American music business feel. Wrapping the release is Untied, a really nice folk tune with classic styling. Oreen's vocals and pairing with acoustic guitar, backed by Kaplin on pedal steel, piano by Nelson Hubbard and her own violin work. This is a very nice track and an excellent closer for a very nice release. 


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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Burton Avenue Music - David Finck - BASSic Instinct - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, BASSic Instinct, by David Finck, and it's got a cool underlying Brazilian jazz feel. Opening with title track, BASSic Instinct, David Finck on bass is joined by Quinn Johnson on keys, Teo Lima on drums, Ryan Quigley on trumpet, Mike Davis on trombone and in includes strong solo work by Finck and Andy Snitzer on tenor sax. Excellent opener.  Dearly Beloved had a terrific salsa rhythm, with Finck soloing on bass and Snitzer again running a great solo lead on sax and strong contributions by Johnson on piano, Kevin Winard on drums and percussion, Davis with a wicked solo on trombone and Barry Danielian on trumpet. Very strong. Bateu, Levou/Who's Wrong or Right? features Teka Penteriche and Trist Curless on great lead vocal. This is a terrific track that should get hard radio play based on melody and vocal only and it also includes strong instrumental backing by Nelson Faria on guitar, Johnson on piano, Winard on drums Laura Conwesser on flute and including a nice bass solo by Finck. Soon It's Gonna Rain, is a very nice quieter piece with Finck bowing his bass as well as providing clean articulate bass lead working nicely with Johnson on piano, Bob Mann on guitar and Cliff Almond on drums. Meg Ruby sets the pace on piano lead on Tico Tico No Fuba' and with a strong bass solo by Finck, light guitar by Nelson Faria and Winard on percussion, very satisfying. Classic jazz piece, I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) gives Finck and Mann plenty of space to lead and solo over just the right amount of drums by Almond. Very nice. Wrapping the release is ballad, I Remember, featuring Melissa Errico on lead vocal, Finck on bass and Tedd Firth on piano. A classic jazz ballad for a really entertaining release. 


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Friday, October 15, 2021

Cleopatra Records artist: Carmine Appice - Fernando Perdomo Project - Energy Overload - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Energy Overload, from Carmine Appice-Fernando Perdomo Project and it is packed with energy. Opening with Blown Speaker Boogie, the band leaves no room for misunderstanding...they are here to rock. With the firm bottom of Appice (ex Vanilla Fudge and Jeff Beck) on drums and accomplished guitarist, Fernando Perdomo on bass and guitar, this track is hopping. Perdomo plays solid blues rock riffs against his own aggressive bass riffs and fluid progressive rock guitar lead. Very cool. Title track, Energy Overload is a hot rocker with both partners on overdrive. Perdomo adds fluid keyboard work to this already powerful mix of bass and guitar paired with Appice on drums for a driving Steve Morse vibe. Rocket To The Sun is a progressive rocker with a dynamic drum bottom and driving guitar vamp. Great driving music! One track on this release really stands out for me and that's McCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed. Taken at approximate original tempo, Perdomo plays melodic guitar lead and Appice's attention to detail on drums is perfect. Durga McBroom adds to the mix with angelic backing vocals. Very nice. On Starstream, Appice and Perdomo lay down a driving rhythm with carved out sections of obtuse time signatures giving the track a very interesting  forward sound. Very nice. Wrapping the release is Thunder with a heavy bottom and giving Perdomo a firm platform to lay down a clean guitar melody. This is a really cool release with plenty of drive, and dual guitar leads. 


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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Cypress Road Productions artist: Luca Kiella - Ready For You - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (October 22, 2021), Ready For You, from Luca Kiella and it's a happy go lucky pop release with plenty of energy. Opening with Till Tomorrow, with it's New Orleans rhythm. Kiella, who sings and plays keys is joined by Aaron Weistrop on guitar, Paul Hall on drums, William Baggett on bass, Michelle Hallman on backing vocals, Mark Mullins on trombone, Bobby Campo on trumpet and Brad Walker on tenor sax. R&B styling on Desperate Train to Nowhere shows a solid radio melody with nicely paired vocals and warm Wurlitzer backing. Funk peppered Ready for You has just the right spring to appeal to the adult radio audience. With it's memorable melody and vocal work, it's a solid entry. Another track with a cool New Orleans style rhythm is Wanna Love You Tonight. Kiella really has the piano roll down and Hall's drum rhythm really take control and Baggett's bass line is spot on. Wrapping the release is Is There Any Love Left For Me?, a beautiful ballad in the flavor of James Taylor or George Harrison. Nicely presented, vocal over piano and strings by Chuck Bontrager, this is a strong closer. 


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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Gulf Coast Records artist: Jason Ricci and Joe Krown - City Country City - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (October 22, 2021), City Country City, by Jason Ricci and Joe Krown and it's really meaty. Opening with Jazz /Rock/Soul band, WAR, classic and title track, City Country City, Joe Krown plays a B3 soaked intro working into the lush melody played by Jason Ricci and snappy drum work by Doug Belote. Cool jam over a potent theme. Krown's blues shuffle, Down N' Dirty is a great jam based around a strong B3 framework by Krown giving him sufficient space to grow the concept and giving Ricci all of the room he needs to play his own style of harmonica which I think may be the best around right now. Guy is melodic, creative and emotional. Excellent! Ricci's New Orleans blues, Badger The Witness, give Ricci the opportunity to front on vocals and he does a great job. Krown's keyboard work is strong and Belote's drum work really killer. Joe Sample's funky jazz number, My Mama Told Me So, really works well for this trio with Krown and Ricci sharing the melody and with the steady hand of Belote tying it all together. Krown stretches a bit more on this one setting a really nice groove and Belote lets it all hang out there with a real nice drums solo. Very cool. Feel Good Funk is a Ricci original and plays perfectly into his style. With a tight drum beat and a funky underpinning, Ricci sings and blows his ass off. Excellent! Low slung shuffle, Down At The Juke, is an excellent track with old school blues/jazz feel. Ricci's vocals are spot on and Krown shows he knows his way around old school with a good long lead solo on B3. Ricci knows how to swing too with crisp riffs of his own complimenting this fine vocal effort. Stepping back and making a serious run at the blues, Charles Brown's Drifting Blues is up next with a rich intro and vocals by Ricci. Krown sets a warm organ floor for the scene and takes the first solo on B3. Ricci's vocals are particularly effective on this track in that he's almost wailing the blues in compliment with his excellent harp phrasing. Wrapping the release is Bobbie Gentry's pop classic, Ode To Billy Joe. Ricci and Krown transform this well know pop tune into an elongated jam with plenty of pyrotechnics. This is one of my favorite releases of the year. Get one!  


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Friday, October 8, 2021

Regina Royale Records artist: Ilana Katz Katz - In My Mind - New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, In My Mind, by Ilana Katz Katz and it's an interesting, pop/blues release. Opening with title track, In My Mind, Katz on lead vocal and fiddle sets contemporary pop stage, backed by Johnny Burgin on guitar, Stephen Dougherty on drums and Chris Matheos on bass. Burgin leads off on shuffle, Woman, Play the Blues with traditional delta style riffs. Katz's shows a certain juxtaposition with her contemporary vocal styling and her bluegrass approach on fiddle in this setting. Very interesting. Burgin opens Shuffle/boogie, Won't Pass Me By with a classic Walker style intro, and Katz's simple vocal/fiddle styling. Very cool. On Well, Well Blues Burgin steps up with some of his signature licks. Katz's vocals are some of the best on the release making this my choice for best on the release. Hangman's Reel is another of my favorites with a total venture from the blues to traditional bluegrass. Katz covers the melody on fiddle accompanied only by Porchboard and Matt Isbell on tambourine. Wrapping the release is country soaked ballad, If, with it's solid melody, pure vocal by Katz accompanied by her own fiddle playing and rudimentary percussion. Very nice. 


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Thursday, October 7, 2021

VizzTone Label Group artist: Chris BadNews Barnes - BadNews Rising - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, BadNews Rising, by Chris BadNews Barnes and it's a cool blues rocker. Opening with You Wanna Rock? You Gotta Learn The Blues, Barnes has a good start. In the footsteps of Joe Walsh's Rocky Mtn Way, this track has a great droning bass line  Tommy MacDonald and sweet slide work by Pat Buchanan as well as tight drum work by Tom Hambridge and keys by Kevin McKendree. On piano boogie, My Baby Be Cray Cray Cray, Barnes really delivers vocally and McKendree's piano work is strong. Rachael and Sarah Hambridge add solid backing vocals and Max Abrams on sax and Steve Patrick on trumpet enrich the mix. The Creamy Caramel Cafe opens with a seductive harmonica lead by Buchanan, continuing with suggestive lyrics by Barnes over a subdued funk rhythm. A great rhythm and clever lyrics give this track just the right fuel to deliver. ZZ Top like boogie, Kettle Black is probably my favorite track on the release with a driving bottom (Hambridge and MacDonald) and with a real nice guitar solo by Buchanan. Wrapping the release is blues rocker, I Like Cleavage. With the physicality of a Bob Seeger rocker and suggestive language, this is bound to be a crowd favorite. A cool sax solo by Abrams and slide by Buchanan, this is a strong closer. 


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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Miss Lady Blues - Moe Betta Blues - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Moe Betta Blues, from Miss Lady Blues and it blends blues, soul, R&B and funk for a solid sound. Opening with Back It Up With That Lip, Dexter Allen lays down a droning bass line, for the strong lead vocal of MLB, with Joey Robinson on drums and organ. Solid opener. Hi stepping, She Ain't Me has a real moving bottom with cool electric lead by Allen and contributions by Robinson on drums and keys. Addicted is a smooth soul track with warm backing vocals by Allen. This is a strong radio track with a smooth melody and perfect balance. Another R&B track, Loving You will also play strong to the radio audience with super vocals and a great feel. Wrapping the release is Can't Be Love with a muted arpeggiated guitar line and hot lead guitar work under the melody giving the track a real smoldering feel. Excellent closer. 


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Monday, October 4, 2021

Karma Chief Records artist: GA-20 - Does Hound Dog Taylor - Try it... You Might Like It!New Release Review

 


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Does Hound Dog Taylor: Try It... You Might Like It!, by GA - 20 and it's off the hook! First I have to say that I am thrilled to have a vinyl copy of this release and that in itself is a pleasure. I routinely do my reviews at my office using a computer and complimentary speakers and in this case, being able to review on my home system and in my dedicated listening room. I am also going to describe the packaging because that is also a real treat. My personal collection of blues records has at times exceeded 5000 lp's and this is one of the nicest covers both graphically with a photo of Hound Dog Taylor's hand in red on a bright yellow cover and a cover that is built of heavier reinforced cardstock than I remember on any of my records going back to the 50's and 60's... beautiful! The vinyl is heavy duty and as quiet as you could imagine. 

Opening with She's Gone, Pat Faherty on lead vocal and madly overdriven slide guitar is in total charge. Imaging is really strong and his tone is fat to the edge of breakup. A primal boogie with Matthew Stubbs on guitar and The Carman on drums, you know immediately from the opening note that you are listening to something special. I will continue to review the balance of the release, but you should know by now...you need this record! Another boogie, Let's Get Funky, is so primal pairing simple guitar lead with single snap snare work  and Faherty's vocal coaxing ... building to a slide frenzy. Excellent! Slow blues, Sitting At Home Alone, ventures into Elmore James territory with solid lead vocal work and perfect call and response with lead/slide guitar and a deep throated guitar playing "rhythm". I feel pretty confident in saying it's unlikely you've heard anything like this in years. Rocker, Phillips Goes Bananas, has a simple surf rhythm and with Stubbs taking the rhythm guitar keeping the blues bars, Faherty plays lead relentlessly. Very cool. Wrapping side one with one more boogie, It's Alright has terrific pace and strong lead vocal. Faherty literally doing a romp on slide on this one, a strong closer for side one. 

Side two opens with one of Taylor's trademark tracks, Give Me Back My Wig with all of the enthusiasm of the original. Faherty's hand for slide guitar is strong and convincing and I love Carman's enthusiastic drum work. With particularly deep, rich tone Faherty really knows how to deliver on It Hurts Me Too. His vocals are outstanding and the band, although stripped back, carry this track perfectly. See Me In The Evening is another great boogie with heavy lower octave notes. Just the rhythm guitar alone gets you nicely in the groove and when Faherty cuts loose with his slide, it slashes. Very nice. Sadie has a real nice alternate blue beat driven by Carman and Faherty's slide work is raw and exciting under his laid back vocals. If this doesn't get you moving... you're dead. Wrapping the release is high paced Hawaiian Boogie, and instrumental with all out slide. This is an excellent closer for an excellent release. If you only buy one blues record this year... this should be it. I think the best I've heard personally.



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Friday, October 1, 2021

Archie Brown & the Young Bucks - Diddley Bow - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release October 15, 2021, Diddley Bow, from Archie Brown & the Young Bucks, formed in Newcastle in 1975. This release was written and produced in lockdown with a tight sound, despite not being in the same town. Opening with TexMex style, You Just Don't Know, Patrick Rafferty on accordion adds just the right sound to lead the vocals by Kevin McKay and Guitarist Tony Wadsworth. Backed by Chris Ringer on bass and Steve Dolder on drums, this is a cool opener. Straight up rocker, Ballad, Venus in the East is a solid radio contender with a strong melody and classical piano and vocal backing. Blue Bird. with it's Latin jazz rhythm and smooth approach could have broad appeal. Solid underlying guitar lead by Wadsworth and warm backing vocals carry the track and an interesting trumpet solo by ex-Chart Commando's Steve Nash highlight the track. Wrapping the release is Mummy's Boy, a simple ballad with a strong melody and clever yet basic instrumentation. This release is outside of what I typically hear at my desk but it is interesting. 


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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Cleopatra Records artists: Legends Play The Beatles - Various - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Legends Play The Beatles, from Cleopatra Records, and it's an interesting mix of Beatles covers by notable rock, pop and folk icons. Opening with Here Comes The Sun, Richard Page has the lead vocal and Steve Morse has the guitars, backed by Jay Schellen on drums and Billy Sherwood on keys. With a nearly identical arrangement to the original, Page sets the stage. Heart's Ann Wilson does an acoustic cover of Across The Universe backed by acoustic guitar and percussion. Very nice. Surprise rockers Molly Hatchet Cover Back In The USSR... Beach Boys style backing vocals and all. Air Supply covers, A Long And Winding Road with a bit more theatrical vocal lead by Russell Hicthcock and nice bass work by Billy Sherwood. Another interesting cover is Tomorrow Never Knows by Electric Moon. Komet Lulu's FX, Sula Bassana synth and drums by Marcus Schnitzler rocks this track. My disappointment on the release is Jack Bruce's take on Eleanor Rigsby. Bruce is one of the truly great vocal icons of the rock era but this track just doesn't float. Howard Jones takes a straight ahead approach on And I Love Her and with simple vocal strength carries one of the Beatles top pop songs nicely. Folk/rock superstar Judy Collins' cover of Yesterday is beautiful and her vocals are clear and mesmerizing. Wrapping the release is Beatles anthem, Let It Be, covered handily by Deep Purple vocalist Glenn Hughes. With quiet finesse and backed by Geoff Downes on piano, this is a solid closer. 


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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Roadhouse Redemption Records artist: The Porkroll Project - Papa Didn't raise Me Right - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Papa Didn't Raise Me Right, from The Porkroll Project, and it's a solid mix of rock, blues and country. Opening with title track, Papa Didn't Raise Me Right, lead singer and guitarist, Neil "Porkroll" Taylor is up front setting the mood, backed by Walter Runge on organ, Anthony Pieruccini on bass, and John Thomas on drums. With a Latin rhythm on Down In Mexico, Taylor tells a pretty good story and Thomas does a real nice job on keeping the rhythm tight. Taylor's Santana flavored guitar lead feels good and backing vocals by Runge, Pieruccini and Thomas really work nicely in the mix. Blues ballad, Crescent Moon, sports nice sax work by David Renz and Taylor's lead guitar lead is firm and smooth. Funky mix, Mama Put The Gun Down, really works nicely due to Pieruccini's bass and Runge's organ, under the clever vocal work and some of Taylor's best guitar lead on the release. With a swagger, Sentenced to The Blues, hits with Chris Neal and Paul Matecki on trumpet. Taylor's lead vocal is nicely matched with Buddy Cleveland on harmonica solo. A breakout sax solo by Renz and a real nice solo by Taylor on guitar tie this package together nicely. Wrapping the release is cool shuffle, A Taste of Malt Liquor, likely the crowd favorite with it's party feel, group backing vocals, and a memorable melody topped with a studly guitar solo. Solid closer.  


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Monday, September 27, 2021

Earwig Music Company artist: Rusty Ends Blues Band - Self Titled - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent self titled release from Rusty Ends Blues Band and it's a cool blues rocker. Opening with What's Next, a crisp, up tempo shuffle, Rusty Ends on lead vocal and guitar pairs up with some muscular harmonica work by Jim Rosen and backed by Dave Zirnheld on bass and Gene Wickliffe on drums. Cool opener. Secrets In The Street has a warmer feel with  Rod Wurtele on B3 and a fluid guitar lead by Ends. With a bit of a Freddie King, Sinner's Strut is a cool shuffle with Ends leading the way on guitar harmony and with Danny Kelly on drums and added percussion by Barry Shaw. Slower blues, Something Wrong Going Wrong, gives Ends a chance to showcase his blues phrasing. Hi vocal styling reminds me a bit of Mike Bloomfield. One of my favorite tracks on the release is rocker, I'm Searching, with it's driving bottom, Wurtele on piano, solid vocals by Ends and relentless harmonica by Rosen. Latin rhythm permeates High Beams with hot New Orleans style, emphasized by the tight piano riffs of Wurtele. This is a great track with a story line that most guys can relate to and will be a concert favorite. Wrapping the release is ballad, The One Wish, with  a soulful melody over a thick B3 base. Ends shows some really poised phrasing on his guitar solo on this one with traces of Roy Buchanan. Nice closer. 


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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Blooming Tunes Music artist: Diane Durrett & Soul Suga - Put A Lid On It - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the newest release (September 24, 2021), Put A Lid On It, by Diane Durrett & Soul Suga and it's a blend of soul, blues and gospel. Opening with In My Soul, Durrett works her magic with a soul base and gospel overtones and rich backing vocals over Yoel B'nai Yehuda on B3, Melissa Junebug on drums/percussion and Gregg Shapiro on bass. Cool opener. I like Sweeter Love Grows as the releases best radio track due to it's sweet melody and nicely blended vocals, a solid guitar solo by Daniel  Groover and some of Durrett's best lead vocals on the release. Another track with gospel overtones, Wish It Would Rain has really solid footings, soulful lead vocals and great, piano and organ work by Yehuda. Very nice. Wrapping the release is punched up funky rocker, Make America Groove, featuring Mike Burton on sax, Melvin Jones on trumpet, Fuji Fujimoto on bass and Ian Schumacher on guitar and a chorus of backing vocalists including Adam McKnight, Peggy Still Johnson, Ian Schumacher and Mike Burton. 




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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Earwig Music Company artist: Elly Wininger - The Blues Never End - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Blues Never End, from Elly Wininger and it's a solid take on traditional blues. Opening with Sister Rosetta Tharpe's, Let That Liar Alone, Elly Wininger on lead vocal and guitar and Lou Pappas on upright bass set the bar for the entire release. Elly's riffs are tight and her playing shows her enjoyment for the real deal. Skip James' Special Rider Blues is a particularly cool track with Wininger's voice being nearly as high as James' falsetto vocal. Her acoustic guitar, the only accompaniment for this track is really solid. Title track, The Blues Never End, is a really melodic ballad by Wininger. It's purity and structure make it my choice for radio track on the release and possibly Wininger's best vocals on the release. Tony Joe White's As The Crow Flies is one of my favorites with Wininger on slide/resonator, Mike Merenda on banjo and Eric Parker on percussion. Matching the vocal melody note for note on guitar is a great technique and not used often enough today. Very nice. Lonnie Johnson's, Range In My Kitchen, is great rework with nicely presented vocals and clean and lean guitar accompaniment. Pure blues. Wrapping the release is Ledbelly's lively folk blues, Old Riley and Wininger really gets it hopping with the help of Ed Marris on accordion, Lou Pappas on bass and Eric Parker on percussion. Solid closer for a solid release. 


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