CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Blue Star Records artist: Mark Nomad - All One - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, All One, by Mark Nomad and it's a cool, acoustic blues release. Opening with My Mind Gets To Wandering, Mark Nomad creates a modern delta style blues feel with his own clean vocals, and his rhythm/slide guitar accompaniment. Solid writing and melody, a strong opener. On Waitin' On You, gets more into a Jimmy Reed style with a simple guitar rhythm and vocal, teamed with his own harmonica work and a more contemporary sound. A stripped down take on Dizzy Miss Lizzy maintains it's early rock feel but with the addition of stylized vocals and hot slide work, the track takes on new life. I like Nomad's cover of Fred McDowell's You Got To Move with solid vocals and tasty slide. Wrapping the release is title track, All One, a smart, acoustic ballad. Predominantly a vocal track with light acoustic guitar backing, this is a solid closer for a cool release. 


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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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Monday, August 1, 2022

JusteUneTrace artist: Jay & The Cooks - Dried Up Dreams - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Dried Up Dreams, by Jay & The Cooks, and it's a cool release with blues, country, rock punk ... you name it. Opening with Alton McCarver, Jay Ryan on lead vocal and vocal sets a rugged, stripped down blues feel, with traces of Zappa and country and rock. With Stephane Missri on guitar, Paul Susen on fiddle, Christian Poidevin on harmonica, Marten Ingle on bass and Marty Vickers on drums, this is a great storyteller track and super opener. With reverb saturated guitar Chew The Cud is a driving country rocker with spoken lyrics and a great driving feel with a solid bass line. Dried Up Hearts has a cool country/cajun mix. Ryan's vocals a solid and clever and Susen's fiddle and Poidevin's harmonica, really spice up the action. Wrapping the release is driving rocker, Confederate Son which really has the bones of a country punk rocker. Ryan's vocal and guitar work great and Poidevin's harmonica give it a more bluesy edge and Susen's fiddle ties back it's country roots. This is a cool, off the wall release with plenty to like.

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Friday, July 29, 2022

Cliff Stevens - Better Days - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Better Days, from Cliff Stevens and it's it's a cool blues rocker. Opening with Better Days, a solid rocker with a good SRV style swagger, features Cliff Stevens on lead guitar and vocal, Serge Dionne on bass, Eric Sauve on keys, and Sam Harrisson on drums. With a "southern rock" flavor, No Room Left has a nice ABB like feel ... I can almost hear Chuck Leavell on piano. With a strong radio melody and select guitar riffs, this is a strong radio contender. Another serious radio contender is Light Of An Angel with a pure pop ballad melody. Stevens does a nice job as vocal front man and paired with Kim Feeney on harmony and a melodic slide solo, pure radio gold. Bluesy ballad, I Love You Still, is my favorite track on the release with cool blues progressions and a strong melody. Stevens lets the music flow with some more aggressive soloing and fluid runs. Very nice. Blues shuffle, True Love has a great feel with nice piano work by Sauve, nice backing vocals by Feeney and a slashing guitar solo of his own. I Been Thinking About You is another solid blues entry in the vein of Guitar Slim. With his vocal call and guitar response, this is a real nice track with an extended guitar workout, boosted by the warm organ of Sauve and the harmonica work of Pat Loiselle. Very nice. Wrapping the release is finger picking Slim Picking featuring Stevens on acoustic guitar. This is generally laid back but artistically nice and a solid closer to a solid release. 


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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Stony Plain Records artist: Mike Stevens - Breathe In The World, Breathe Out Music - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Breathe In The World, Breathe Out Music, from Mike Stevens and it's a cool slice of contemporary blues/country influenced music. Opening with Like A Little Bird, harmonica master, Mike Stevens teams up with Polly Harris on lead vocal with a light reggae rhythm. Supporting are Jeff Getty on acoustic guitar, Kevin Breit on electric guitar, Art Kratchian on drums, and Jeff Bird on bass. Grumbling Old Man Grumbling Old Woman is a cool, jig featuring Stevens and Breit playing tandem melody/harmony lines over the tight rhythms of Getty and Kratchian. Very nice. Gordon Lightfoot's classic, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald maintains it's easy approach but substitutes Breit and Stevens on melody giving the track a cool, folky feel. Bound by the solid acoustic playing of Getty and Kratchian, this is a strong entry. Jesse's Request is an interesting track with a really strong melody. With a lot of the characteristics of a western soundtrack, Stevens masterfully crafts the melody over the acoustic guitar base by Getty. Ida Red is another of my favorites on the release with the feel of genuine country (western) music. Stevens takes the lead on vocal and harmonica on this one with full backing vocals by Getty and Cory James Mitchell. Devil's Bride is tight boogie with the rhythm line set by Breit, Getty and Kratchian. I really like Stevens' vocal on this track and his harmonica work compliments the lead nicely and Breit's electric guitar lead rocks. Wrapping the release is Put Your Phone Down, a cool harmonica jam over the tight drums rhythm of Kratchian, joined by Andrew Collins on mandolin. This is an unconventional "blues" release, but a solid release with a lot of great harmonica work. Very nicely done. 


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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Gary Cain - Next Stop - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Next Stop, by Gary Cain and it's a barn burner. Opening with Billionaires In Space, Canadian born, one man show, Gary Cain is a contemporary blues rocker with a lot of oomph. With a driving beat, and distortion saturated guitar riffs, Cain shifts it into overdrive and lets it fly. With a funky guitar rhythm, Gatekeeper has a foot stompin dance rhythm. Using ZZ Top like lead guitar offsets to emphasize the turnarounds,  and a wide open guitar solo, this track is very cool. In the Frank Marino/Jimi Hendrix vein, Keep On Comin has a strong, overdriven guitar riff to play around and his vocals are rock spot on. Precision drum rhythms give Cain firm footing to lay out his guitar wares and paired with himself on guitar 2, this track works well. Laying way back, Gone begins with intimate vocals and focused  quick stinging guitar accents but growing in intensity as the track progresses. With heavy distortion and dark formations, the track shapes up to be a cool, interesting rocker. Wrapping the release is A Short Furious Goodbye, a guitar lead instrumental with clean Knopler/Gilmore style tone and SRV like ferocity. Backed by John Lee on B3, this is a cool closer and a solid demo of Cain's broad talents. 


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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

San Gabriel 7 featuring Sinne Eeg - Under The Stars - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Under The Stars, by San Gabriel 7 featuring Sinne Eeg and it's bright and airy.  Opening with Rocket Blues, Eeg on lead vocal sings in tandem with Jim Lewis on trombone, a quite agile melody lead, breaking to Chris Gordon on piano. With a firm, New Orleans flavor, rhythm by Johathan Pintoff on bass, Dave Holben on tuba, Randy Drake on drums and Scott Breadman on percussion, this track is nicely underway. Alex Budman on clarinet lays in a really nice solo, followed by Kye Palmer on trumpet. Very nice. Getting Along With Love is a cool radio track with a polished, Steely Dan feel. Eeg's vocal approach is strong and her presentation pure.  A smooth sway and dominant sax work by Glen Berger, backed by Palmer on trumpet gives this track a solid A. With it's Latin beat, I'm Feeling Good is a solid ballad with terrific vocals. Chad Edwards on keys works nicely with Budman's sax solo and warm horn backing, giving this track a really strong edge. Berger on oboe adds an interesting perspective on the intro of soulful track, Never Let You Go. With it's strong radio melody, Eeg's lush vocals, and sweet sax work by Budman, this track is pure gold. Hymm is a solid closer featuring warm horn and Eeg's instrumental like vocal blending. This is an unusual track and one of the coolest on the release. 


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Monday, July 25, 2022

Memphis International Records artist: Ann Peebles & the Hi Rhythm Section - Live In Memphis - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live In Memphis, from Ann Peebles & the Hi Rhythm Section and it's a cool, live, soul packed R&B release. Opening with If I Can't See You, Peebles on lead vocal sets the pace with her smooth delivery and backed by  David J Hudson and Tina Crawford on vocal, John Sangster on sax, Anthony Royal on trumpet, Dennis Bates on trombone, Leroy Hodges on bass, Charles Hodges on keys, Howard Grimes on drums and Thomas Bingham on guitar. Rolling into high stepper, Part Time Love, Peebles really has the groove moving. With a super bass line by Hodges and punchy trumpet by Royal, this is one of my favorite tracks on the release. An excellent cover of I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home plays right into Peeble's wheelhouse. The horn work by Sangster, Royal and Bates really add balance to Peebles' lead. Wrapping the release is Peebles' bets know track, I Can't Stand The Rain, covered by many many blues and rock artists alike. Peebles of course has that natural feel vocally and particular backing by Royal and Hodges adds nicely to a strong closer. 


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Friday, July 22, 2022

VizzTone Label Group artist: Gina Sicilia - Unchange - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Unchange, from Gina Sicilia and it's a nice blend of soul, R&B, gospel and blues. Opening with Healing Time with all of the richness of sweet soul music, Gina Sicilia on lead vocal sets a great table. Backed by Ann and Regina McCrary wou have the best vocal backing money can buy and Kevin McKendree on organ is a terrific addition as well to the basic band of Colin Linden on guitar, Johnny Dymond on bass and Bryan Owings on drums. Great opener. How Far Am I From Canaan is a light take on a full blown gospel track with Sicilia singing acapella over the electric guitar accompaniment and excellent vocal backing of Linden. This is an impressive showcase for Sicilia's vocal prowess and brilliant contemporary interpretation of a traditional style gospel tune. On Rev Gary Davis' classic track, Death Don't Have No Mercy, Linden really opens nicely with reverb saturated blues guitar riffs. Sicilia takes a more bluesy approach on this one with excellent results. Linden gets a chance to let his blues chops flow and with terrific results. Excellent track. Valentine is a real nice ballad with strong radio structure. The melody is well constructed and Linden's acoustic guitar accompaniment is a perfect foil to Sicilia on vocal. Very nice. Linden's, Don't Be Afraid To Be Wrong has the distinct, Gary Davis style rag feel that immediately perks my ears up. Sicilia's vocals float lightly on Linden's finger work making this one of my favorites. Wrapping the release is traditional ballad, There's A Bright Side Somewhere, and Sicilia handles it with great sensitivity and composure over the acoustic accompaniment and beautiful slide solo of Linden . This is a real nice closer for a strong release. 


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Thursday, July 21, 2022

Toy Robot Music artist: Troy Roberts - Nu Jive: Nations United - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Nu Jive: Nations United, by Troy Roberts and it's a full on energized groove. Opening with Funkafarian, Eric England on bass stets a prominent funk line, with a stiff snare chaser by David Chiverton on drums. Troy Roberts plays melody on sax with cool melodic highlights on keys by Silvano Monasterios. Tim Jago on guitar,  takes the first improvisational solo showing great style later followed by Monasterios on keys and a real nice solo by Roberts. Strong opener. Big Night In is a cool, funk based jam over a driving bass line by England. With the reverse of the bass line things turn from funky to contemplative giving Monasterios a broad sheet to paint with his keys. Punching the funk back up, Roberts cuts loose with an aggressive solo of his taking the jam even higher with additive compliments by all members. Very cool. Sobrino is a really interesting piece featuring England's creative bass work through his pedal board and a slow staggering 5/4 timing. With the addition of Monasterios on keys and joined by Roberts, laying in a complimentary melodic solo... this track is quite hypnotic. Wrapping the release is the adventurous, Dream Station with it's snappy drum rhythm and punchy bass line. Roberts establishes a great melody line before turning the adventure over to Jago for extensive yet vibrant guitar exploration. Roberts kicks it into high gear with further exploration on his own making this my favorite track on the release and and a power packed closer. 


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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Radha Botofasina - Carry On The Spirituals Vol. 2 - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Carry On The Spirituals Vol. 2, from Radha Botofasina and it's quite good. Opening with Satan We Gonna Tear Your Kingdon Down, Brooklyn born, Radah Botofasina presents a strong spiritual journey in music. Having a two decade long association with Alice Coltrane, Alice became her spiritual and musical mentor and gifted her her first harp. With Gemi Taylor on guitar, Botofasina on harp and lead vocal, John Barnes on synth and rhythms and the McCrary Sisters on backing vocals, this is a solid opener. With R&B influence over a definite gospel framework, Woman At The Well,  features really nice call and response between Botofasina on lead vocal and backing vocals by Aankha Neal, Isabel Beyosa, Arianna Gouveia and Shyam Tony Reyes. With a Latin rhythm, gospel classic, Mary Don't You Weep, gets a contemporary makeover. Botofasina on lead vocal, backed by Neal, Beyoso, Gouveia and Reyes on backing vocal work nicely with the synth work of Surya Botofasina on synth organ, Cecil McBee Jr on bass, Munyungo Jackson on percussion and Alma Cielo on viola. Really getting that gospel roll, Move On Up A Little Higher shows real richness with excellent lead work by Botofasina and the addition of Rod Hines on piano, Surya on synth organ, McBee on bass, Caleb Buchanan on acoustic bass, Jackson on percussion Cielo on cello and Neal, Beyoso, Gouveia and Reyes on backing vocals. Wrapping the release is original composition and title track, Carry On with a cool R&B rhythm. Botofasina leads with excellent vocal phrasing and Taylor on guitar adds some real nice solo work. Barnes on synth, and Neal, Beyoso, Gouveia, Reyes, Barnes and the McCrarey Sisters create a cool envelope of music closing out the release. 


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Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Ruf Records artist: Kenny Neal - Straight From the Heart - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Straight From the Heart, from Kenny Neal and I like it quite well. Opening with Blues Keep Chasing Me, Kenny Neal sets a great funky blues pace. With a solid bass line by Darnell Neal, Arnet Hayes on piano, Brandon Adams on B3,  fat sax work by Jason Parfait, trumpet accents by Ian Smith and tight rhythms by Michael Harris, this is a solid opener. Cool blues, I'll Play The Blues For You has great pace and Neal's lead vocal and guitar are really clean and soulful. Horn backing by Parfait and Smith really adds a lot of punch, and the keyboard work of Adams and Henry really work nicely with the snappy drum work of Morris. Very nice. Louise Ana shows that New Orleans slow blues feel. With the melody carried by Lee Allen on bass, addition of Rockin Dopsie Je on washboard and Big Nate Williams on accordion, this track really has the sound. With a great walking bass line by Darnell Neal, I've Got To Tell Somebody, is one of my favorite tracks on the release. Kenny's vocals are perfect and Hayes piano soloing and Neal's own lush phrasing, punched up by Parfait and Smith is great. Wrapping the release is straight up New Orleans street party, New Orleans with Parfait and Smith leading the way. Darnell keeps the bass pace and and snappy rhythms by Morris really keeps it tight. Hayes piano groove is great and Neal's vocals ride high on the mix. Excellent closer. 


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Monday, July 18, 2022

SubCat Records artist: Nancy Kelly - Jazz Woman, The Reel To Real Sessions - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Jazz Woman, The Reel To Real Sessions, from Nancy Kelly and it's one of a series of singles (two tracks) release from earlier in her career. Opening with Jazz Woman, an original composition with a cool, club feel. Backed by John Di Martino on piano, Ed Howard on bass, Freddie Hendrix on trumpet, Harry Allen on tenor, Carmen Intorre Jr, on drums, Wesley Amorim on guitar and Jimmy Johns on vibes, this track has a cool feel with super, muted trumpet lines by Hendrix. Latin rhythms permeate Move Over featuring Kelly's warm vocals and with light keyboard work by DiMartino and smooth sax lines by Allen. This is a short release but very nice and certainly radio ready. 


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Friday, July 15, 2022

G2 Records artist: David Larsen - G2 and You - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, G2 and You, from David Larsen and it's a straightforward instrumental jazz release. Opening with Angel Eyes, David Larsen on bari sax lays down a solid melodic lead line, backed by Danny McCollim on keys, Josh Skinner on bass, and Brendan McMurphy on drums. Larsen's tone is warm and his lead lines fluid and conservative. On Brubeck's,  In Your Own Sweet Way, Larsen shows a pure enjoyment of the artist's original arrangement. On original composition, Bright Days, Larsen pumps up the tempo and gets a solid jam going with aggressive rhythms by McMurphy on drums. With solid piano backing and a strong keys solo by Mc Collim, this is my favorite track on the release. Wrapping the release is another original composition by Larsen, Through and Through with a solid radio melody. Mc Collim stretches nicely on keys on the first solo stretch and Larsen returns with fine phrasing of his own. This is a pleasant release with precise playing and technique.



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Thursday, July 14, 2022

Little Village Foundation: The Phantom Blues Band - Blues For Breakfast - New Release Review


 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues For Breakfast, by The Phantom Blues Band and it's a solid party. Originally formed as Taj Mahal's backing band, PBB began performing on their own and released their first release back in 2006. With a few changes in the lineup most significantly Les Lovitt replacing Darrell Leonard on trumpet and Jim Pugh replacing the nearly irreplaceable Mike Finnigan after his fight with cancer ending in 2021. This newest rendition of the band opens with a roaring  cover of I Take What I Want with Larry Fulcher on bass and lead vocals paired with Johnny Lee Schell on lead vocal and guitar. Backed by Tony Braunagel on drums, Joe Sublett on sax, Les Lovitt on trumpet and Jim Pugh on piano and organ this track has real juice. New Orleans flavored, She's Into Something has strong percussion by  Braunagel and the horn work of Joe Sublett and Les Lovitt really spices things up. Schell drops into a nice Texas style guitar solo really setting hit one off. Very nice. A reggae style rework of Curtis Mayfield's, Move On Up, is really cool with vocal by Ruthie Foster  and tight rhythm guitar by Tony Chin and the horn work of Subett and Lovett add nice authenticity. Very cool. Mike Finnigan leads the way on organ and vocal on OK, I Admit It with real swing. Punchy horns by Sublett and Lovitt and Finnigan's own organ work make this one of my favorites. Bonnie Raitt joins on laid back shuffle, Country Boy with her distinct vocal work. Very nice. Curtis Salgado adds lead vocal and distinctive solo harmonica on Laughin' and Clowin', a slow blues and one of my favorites on the release. On up tempo, I Know You Don't Love Me, Salgado has the lead vocal again and does a great job. Sublett, on sax lays in a solid solo making it hard to stop your foot stomping. Wrapping the release is boogie track, Stuff You Gotta Watch with a great driving bass line by Fulcher and stellar work by Pugh on piano. Power horn work by Sublett and Lovitt work great with Schell's lead vocal and Sublett finishes the release with a hot sax solo. Very nice. 

This recording is dedicated to the memory of Mike Finnigan. All proceeds from sales are being donated to the scholarship program at The Mike Finnigan School of Music in Salina, Kansas. 


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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Pierce Dipner - Goin' Back - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the first full length release, Goin' Back, from Pierce Dipner, and it's a solid blues entry. Opening with Fool's Gold, with it's classic blues vamp, Pierce Dipner on vocal and guitar leads the way. Backed by Arnold Stagger on bass, Blaise Lanzetta on drums and Joe Munroe on keys, were off to a strong start. Empty Bed Blues has a strong Elmore James feel with his familiar slide riff but Dipner's vocal and instrumentation is all his. On slow blues, Tore Us Apart, Dipner's guitar lead is cradled nicely in the warm keyboard work of Munroe. His vocals are solid and his solo lines are original and set the tone nicely, punched up by Stagger and Lanzetta. On Sean Costello's No Half Steppin', Dipner delivers on vocals with a more R&B feel, dressed nicely by Rick Matt on sax, JD Chaisson on trumpet and Reggie Watkins on trombone. Great radio track. Another R&B style track, Won't You Come Home has a real nice swagger. I particularly like Dipner's vocals on this track. With the thematic vamp by Dipner on guitar, he overdubs a real nice lead solo and really digs in, fired by the organ work of Munroe. Very nice.  Wrapping the release is Justin Townes Earle's Memphis In The Rain. Dipner really feels this style vocally and with horn work by Matt, Chaisson and Watkins and a cool solo of his own, this is a solid closer for a solid new release. 


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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Ian Wardenski Quintet featuring Tamara Tucker - Trust - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Trust, from Ian Wardenski Quintet and it's strong. Opening with Before Long, Ian Wardenski Quintet quickly establishes that they aren't to be taken lightly. Jerry Ascione on piano and Frank Russo on drums set up the format quickly joined by Mercedes Beckman on alto sax, Amy Shook on bass and Tamara Tucker on soprano vocal (as an instrument). Ian Wardenski steps up with his guitar presenting the first solo lead on guitar, followed Beckman on sax and Ascione on piano. Russo's rhythm is infectious giving the track a relentless groove. Exceptional opener. C Centric has a terrific feel, opened by Shook on bass and really featuring Russo on drums. Yes, Beckman steps up with a cool sax solo and Wardenski and Ascione solos as well with contributions by Tucker but I gotta tell you...it's all Russo on this track for me. Necessity Needs Another Mother has a more laid back feel with solid solo work by Shook, Ascione, Beckman and strong fluid lead work by Wardenski. Excellent track. The release wraps on a trilogy called Matching Energies Modulus I, II and III. These are not casual compositions clocking in at over 5, 8 and 4 minutes each and are well energized by the musicians. This release is challenging in a good way and well composed and executed. Great job!


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