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© 2010 Blues Blast Magazine
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Hey Blues Fans,
Great News! THE BISCUIT IS BACK!!!
The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival as many of you may know, used to be called the King Biscuit Blues Festival.
A few years ago, the remnants of the King Biscuit Flour Company decided that the Sonny Boy Blues Society could no longer use the trademarked name King Biscuit for their Blues festival and the society had to change the name to The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival.
At this years 25th festival it was announced that an agreement had been reached and the festival will again be called The King Biscuit Blues Festival.
Blues Blast Magazine was there for the announcement and for three days of GREAT music including sets by BB King, James Harmon, Eden Brent and Marcia Ball.
We will have complete coverage of all the great performances and fun in an upcoming issue. Stay Tuned!
We Need Your Help!
Many readers know who Blues Blast Music Award nominee Sean Costello is and the impact that he and his music have had. Sean and 2 millions other Americans suffer from bipolar disorder disease. The link between bipolar disorder and creative genius is certainly evident, but little progress has been made in understanding this link. In the wake of Sean's passing, his parents, close friends, and supporters formed theSean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research in hopes of furthering the work currently being done as well as providing support, guidance, and information to those currently suffering from this illness.
The Fund is currently undertaking a project, aptly titled "The Mojo Project," which seeks to implement an interactive website and sleep monitoring tool. It will both allow musicians suffering from Bipolar Disorder to monitor their sleep with accessible treatment and intervention should problems arise while providing a means by which the link between BPD and sleeplessness can be further studied.
The The Mojo Project is in the running for $50,000 in funding from Pepsi. Of nearly 1200 ideas, Pepsi awards the $50k to only the top ten projects. The Mojo Project is currently 145th. (It was ranked 336th just a week ago). Rank is determined by votes and ANYONE can vote for FREE, but only until the end of October. We need your votes, once a day, every day until October 31st. You can vote using your email address, Facebook account, and you can text your vote using your cell phone. It doesn't cost you anything and takes less than a minute. And you can do all three in one day - they count as 3 votes.
This is where you vote using your email (it has a comprehensive description of the Mojo Project):
This is the Facebook application:
To text using your cell phone: Text "103158" to to 73774
Blues Blast Magazine is asking all its readers to help with this effort. Thanks for your help! Please vote today and everyday till October 31st.
In This Issue
This week we feature more videos of 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards nominees including clips from 2010 nominees Quintus McCormick , Janiva Magness, Magic Slim & The Teardrops and John Németh. Check out these videos to see why these great artists were nominated. For more information and to purchase tickets to the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards on Thursday October 28th 2010 at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, CLICK HERE or see the ad below in this issue.
We have five new CD reviews this week! James "Skyy Dobro" Walker reviews a new CD by Duke Robillard. John Mitchell reviews a new CD by Matt Hill. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD from Coyote Slim. Chuck Gomez reviews a new CD by Lauren Jordan. Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony reviews a new CD by The Blazers. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
Featured Blues Review 1 of 5
Duke Robillard - Passport to the Blues
Stony Plain Records
13 tracks; 64:23 minutes; Splendid
Styles: Guitar driven, Horn laced Electric Blues
I’m wondering if winning the Blues Music Award for 2010 Best Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year made Duke Robillard feel guilty. Perhaps he decided he owed the voting members a gritty Blues album after spending so much of his recent career exploring what liner notes author Ted Drozdowski calls, “experimental music.”
Economics 101 teaches that with most commodities, scarcity usually increases value. This is Duke’s seventeenth album in seventeen years for the Stony Plain label. He has learned to make recordings fast and economical in his Rhode Island studio. So, maybe there is enough demand for more Robillard recordings so that excess supply is not a problem. Indeed, he is a popular guitarist; he’s a four time winner of BMA’s “Blues Guitarist of the Year.” As a singer, he’s no John Németh, but his leathery vocals are serviceable.
Born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, in 1948, Robillard’s biography touts an amazing 44-years-to-date career. Duke had his first band in high school, when, in 1967, he formed “Roomful of Blues.” Along the way, Duke has played, recorded, and produced every style of Roots Music that can be named with a pantheon of famous musicians. Notably, in 1990, Robillard joined the Fabulous Thunderbirds replacing Jimmy Vaughan, but even then, he continued to record and tour as a solo artist.
“Passport to the Blues” consists of thirteen tracks; the best one is the last one called a bonus track, “Bradford Boogie.” Of those tracks, Robillard either wrote or co-wrote twelve of them (all but two written in just two weeks), and the only cover was written by the legendary Tom Waits. Selected first for the Friends of the Blues Radio Show, “Bradford Boogie” is a romping and chugging instrumental with only Duke on guitar and Mark Teixeira on drums. Reports Duke in the liner notes, “...just like John Lee Hooker and Lightning Hopkins. The tune’s all about feeling and no rules,.... Playing that way gives you an incredible amount of freedom.”
Our second song aired was the humorous (or maybe Duke was 100 % serious) “When You’re Old You’re Cold.” Here Duke reminds the girls that just because a man is older does not mean he’s not a good lover. There may be snow on the roof (white hair), there’s still fire in the furnace (you get it).
“Grey Sky Blues” is a standout slow Blues number running over eight minutes and showcasing some Buddy Guy inspired guitar playing. It’s at a level we should expect from a four time “Best” winner.
The song writing for the album got a kick-start from an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. “That got me started writing for the album,” reports Duke. “I figured if that’s not the Blues, what is.” Duke’s taxpayer Blues is titled “Working Hard for My Uncle [Sam].”
When Duke puts out a CD, his legion fans will gobble it up. Here, this time, everyone gets to enjoy some refreshing real Blues from the Dukester.
Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at www.wkccradio.org in Kankakee, IL. To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system,CLICK HERE
Tickets for the biggest Blues event of the fall season, The 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards are now on sale. To buy yours before they sell out, CLICK HERE.
Held at the brand new Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago, confirmed artists Bobby Rush Candye Kane w/ Laura Chavez Kilborn Alley Blues Band, Marquise Knox, Shaun Murphy Band,Mississippi Heat, Carl Weathersby, Dave Riley & Bob Corritore, Zora Young, Quintus McCormick, Cash Box Kings w/ Joel Paterson and , Jackie Scott & The Housewreckers, Little Ray Neal and Eddie Shaw will all join in to celebrate the Best in Blues Music for 2010.
Sponsorships Needed - This event would not be possible without the help of our sponsors and friends! For info on the best seats and other great benefits, (T- Shirts, commemorative posters, Blues "goodie" bag, your band or company name advertised in the program and more) CLICK HERE. Sponsorships start just $200 for two people!
The Essex Inn in Chicago at 800 South Michigan Avenue is the official hotel for the 2010 Blues Blast Music Awards. The hotel is located one block from Buddy Guy's Legends Fans coming to Chicago for the event can get a 20% discount off by mentioning the Blues Blast awards. Call them at (312) 939-2800 and mention the awards to get this discount on stays during October 27th to 29th for the awards show.
Featured Blues Videos
Blues Blast Discount Advertising Special
Blues Blast Magazine is offering a Fall Ad special. This is our lowest pricing of the year and offers an affordable & effective way to get the Blues word out! This 6 week combo rate of only $180 allows you to affordably add significant impact to your Blues ad campaign. It is a great way to kick up the visibility of you new CD release or Blues event!
Blues Blast Magazine is a great way to promote the Blues. More than 17,000 Blues fans read our magazine each week. They are located in all 50 states and in more than 80 countries. We also get more than 1,000,000 (That's ONE MILLION) hits and more than 25,000 visitors a month on our website. Normal 2010 Advertising rates are $45 a week for Blues Blast magazine ads and website ads are $70 per month.
BUT, for a limited time, you can advertise your Blues event or CD in six issues of Blues Blast Magazine and on our website for a month and a half for less that the cost of a small ad in your local newspaper. To get the special rate of $180 simply reserve your ad space by October 15th, 2010. Ads can be booked to run anytime between now and May 31, 2011.
So for only $180 your ad can be seen more than 135,000 times by Blues fans who want to know about Blues events and music! Reserve your space today! Space is limited and will be sold on a first come first served basis. Ads must be reserved and paid for before October 31, 2010. To get more information firstname.lastname@example.org or call 309 267-4425 today!
Blues Society News
You can submit a maximum of 175 words or less in a Text or MS Word document format.
Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh, PA
The Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania is hosting "Blues Goes Pink" ...The Blues Divas Return Concert to benefit Adagio Health to provide Breast Cancer Screenings. The event will be held Sunday, November 7, 2010 at Cefalo's Restaurant and Nightclub, 428 Washington Avenue, Carnegie, PA from 2 pm- 9 pm. The lineup will include The Patti Spadaro Band, Katie Simone, Angelica Pietranton, Roseanne Matthews Band, Pamela Bick and the Warehouse Blues Band, Jill Simmons and theCAUSE, Andrea Pearl, Marcy Brown, Angel Blue and the Prophets, Jill West and Blues Attack, Miss Freddye and Blue Faze, Ann Kerstetter, the "Duchess of Duke Street," w/ JT Thompson and Mitch Ivanoff Admission is $12 to public, $10 to blues members from any blues society. For more information call 724-378-8926 or visit www.bswpa.org
Southern California Blues Society - Los Angeles, CA
The Southern California Blues Society presents The Battle of the Blues Divas concert on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at the Proud Bird, 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. The show will begin at 7 PM, free parking and excellent food and drinks are available. This is one of seven major events presented each year by the Southern California Blues Society and will benefit Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Featured will be ten amazing blues singers, including Barbara Morrison, world-renown blues, jazz and soul singer, Audrey Madison Turner, hot sassy vocalist and partner of the late Ike Turner, Lady GG, gutbucket blues Diva from south central Los Angeles and seven more outstanding singers. Joe Kincaid and the Soul Brothers Blues Band will backup these Divas. Reserve advanced tickets at:www.socalblues.org or call (714) 209-7347
Crossroads Blues Society - Rockford, IL
Crossroads will be hosting a volunteer recognition party for all of the volunteers, bands and sponsors of their inaugural festival. The party is Sunday, October 17th from 3 PM to 6 PM at Tailgater's Sports Bar at 117 E 2nd Street in Byron, IL. There is no charge and there is free food and beverages for each volunteer and their guest. Barstool Bob Levis and his Blues Band will be playing at the event. for information and volunteer RSVPs call Steve Jones at 779-537-4006.
Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King will be Big Cities Lounge at 905 E State St in Rockford on Thursday night, November 18th at 8 PM. Tickets ar $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Contact Joe G at 815-218-6359 or email@example.com for tickets and info. This will sell out fast so get your tickets early!
Artale Wines in Rockford at 6876 Spring Creek Rd is running one of their non-profit organization wine tasting fundraisers with Crossroads Blues Society as the beneficiary. Call 815-877-9463 for more information and tickets. The fundraiser is on Friday night, November 19th at 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM with finger foods by Josef Barbados Restaurant. $15 Donation to Crossroads Blues Society.www.crossroadsbluessociety.com
Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society - Minneapolis, MN
Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society presents our 4th annual Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, "Honoring the Creative Best", Performer; Blues Recording; Blues Song; Blues Art and Literature; and Non-performer supportive of the Blues.
The show is Sunday, October 17th Minnesota Music Cafe, 499 Payne Ave., St. Paul. MN. Doors open at noon. Music starts at 1:00, featuring the 2010 "Performer" inductee, Sweet Paulie T., playing with his band The Blues Blasters. Induction ceremony: 2:45-3:45. Music to follow ceremony include: Jeff Ray and "Hurricane" Harold, this year's IBC solo/duo entrants; and Little Bobby and the Storm. Suggested donation: $7.00 More info at: www.gtcbms.org
The Decatur Blues Society - Decatur, IL
The Decatur Blues Society is holding their 1st annual "Blues Challenge" October 16th at the Bourbon Barrel in Decatur, Illinois. The winner of the band & the solo/duo divisions will receive a slot in the 2011 International Blues Competition in Memphis next February. COmplete information is available at www.decaturblues.org.
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $3 cover. October 18 - Reverend Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys, October 25 - Perry Weber & the Devilles. http://icbluesclub.org/
The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL
2010 Friends of the Blues shows - 7 pm , Kankakee Valley Boat Club, October 26, Perry Weber & DeVilles, 7 pm , Bradley Bourbonnais Sportsmen’s Club. For more info see:http://www.wazfest.com/JW.html
Mississippi Valley Blues Society - Davenport, IA
The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents Blues harmonica player, singer, songwriter, bandleader, and educator Billy Branch as the first of four residency artists for the 11th annual MVBS Blues in the Schools Artists in Residency series. He will be conducting workshops at area schools and free open-to-the-public performances during the week of October 18-22. The Free public performances by Billy Branch are:
Monday October 18, 6:30 p.m.—Davenport Public Library Eastern Ave. Branch
Tuesday October 19, 7:00 p.m.—Borders (53rd St. Davenport)
Wednesday October 20 at 7:00 p.m.—Mojo’s in the River Music Experience (2nd and Main, Davenport)
Also MVBS Presents Chicago's Mississippi Heat on Friday October 29 at The Lodge in Bettendorf! This will be a fundraiser for the MVBS, including a silent auction with signed guitars, posters, photographs, and more. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the music starting at 8. Admission is $20, $15 for MVBS members. The Lodge will be offering stay-over packages. www.mvbs.org for more info
Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL
The Windy City Blues Society (WCBS) is proud to present the 2010 Chicago Blues Challenge (CBC). The winner of this competitions will represent Chicago and WCBS at 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. All proceeds from the CBC events will be used to defray a portion of the cost of sending the winners to Memphis.
Challenge dates include: Sunday, October 24 at the Heartland Café – Band Competition Round 2, Sunday, November 7 at Buddy Guy’s Legends – CBC Finals. For more information about the WCBS and the CBC please visit http://www.windycityblues.org or the WCBS Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter Sites
Featured Blues Review 2 of 5
Matt Hill – On The Floor
Deep Fryed/Vizztone 2010
14 tracks, 53.03 minutes.
Matt Hill is a new kid on the block, but he has some experienced friends! In his sleeve notes to the CD Bob Margolin explains that Matt has been featured on his shows and got a terrific response from the audiences. Bob has been so impressed with young Matt that he recorded most of this CD at his own studio in North Carolina. Chuck Cotton plays drums on all the tracks, producer Margolin contributes guitar and vocals on two tracks, Tad Walters harmonica on two tracks, Clark Stern piano on two tracks.
In addition, fellow Vizztone guitarist Dave Gross supplied his band for four tracks which were recorded at Dave’s studio in New Jersey. Here the drums are handled by Barry Harrison, with Scott Hornick on bass and Dave Gross on guitar.
Nine of the 14 tracks on offer were written by Matt himself, one by Bob Margolin, the remainder being four covers from a variety of sources. The material ranges from full band productions to more acoustic material, some of which reminds one of John Lee Hooker.
The CD starts in great style with an upbeat shuffle “Time Is Up”. The tune is a good introduction to Matt’s music with his clear voice and dynamic presence. Both this and the second track benefit from terrific rock’n’roll piano from Clark Stern and “Hellz Bellz” (yes, the AC/DC tune!) comes across like vintage Jerry Lee Lewis!
“Poor Circle” is a cornerstone song on the CD as it appears twice, in electric and acoustic versions. This is a song about Matt’s hometown and it paints a depressing picture of rural poverty. “Griddle Bread Boogie” is a lot more fun and is exactly what the title suggests, a boogie instrumental with lots of slide guitar. “I Tried To Love A Crazy Woman” is a slower tune which features Bob Margolin and Matt Hill trading licks. “30 Years Old” is pure rockabilly and may be autobiographical although if it is Matt has packed a lot of living into a short space of time!
“Stolen Bride Blues” is a solo piece about taking another man’s wife, apparently while she was still in her wedding dress! Matt’s character seems to accept that he is a bad lot: “I know I’ve done a bad thing, you shouldn’t steal another man’s bride: well, I’ve already bought my ticket down the hill, now I’m just here for the ride”. “Gasoline” is another JLH style boogie, with Chuck Cotton’s drums driving the riff along. The song depicts another slice of life on the poor side of the tracks, with just $2.00 to buy gas. “Why The F**k Do You Think I Cuss?” is Bob Margolin’s song, expressing frustration at some irritating things in his life – computers, cell phones, etc. Driven along by some nice rock n’ roll guitar from both men, this is a fun tune, though the chorus will probably prevent it appearing on radio!
That leaves the four tracks recorded in NJ with Dave Gross. These are bigger band productions and sound a little more ‘produced’ than the Margolin tracks. “Red Boots” is a Matt Hill original, an upbeat shuffle about a chance encounter with a young lady wearing the footwear of the title. The other original is “Children (That Ain’t Mine)”, another song about the hard life that some endure.
The two covers are “When I Get Drunk” by Eddie Burns, with guest Dennis Gruenling underpinning the song on harp. Horns provide a lovely blanket of sound to Johnny Guitar Watson’s “I’m Gonna Hit That Highway” and I assume that the excellent guitar solo is Matt’s. Both these covers are standout tracks on an impressive debut CD.
Bob Margolin’s sleeve notes suggest that Matt may well have what it takes to stand out from the crowd and I understand that he will be playing with Bob on the January LRBC cruise, so that should offer further opportunities to this young man who seems to have a bright future.
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He is currently looking forward to attending the Blues Blast Awards in Chicago in October.
Featured Review 3 of 5
Coyote Slim - Out in the Tules
This is the second recording I have reviewed by the San Jose-based, acoustic bluesman Coyote Slim. The first, South Bay Jive, got a very enthusiastic write-up with my comments focusing on his powerful voice and outstanding guitar playing. My assessment held up through several listens and the disc received a hearty recommendation.
Slim’s latest release does not fare quite as well. It is another straightforward affair, with Slim on vocal and guitar, performing eight original songs and three covers of classic blues tunes. His slide work on the resonator guitar remains quite compelling, especially on Roosevelt Sykes “Trouble & Whiskey Blues”. But the performances on the traditional tunes “Shake “Em on Down” and “Sloppy Drunk” suffer from an overly disjointed rhythmic flow.
Slim’s nimble picking is showcased on the original, “Pow Wow Woman Blues”, his deep voice blending nicely with the bright guitar sound. Another strong effort can be heard on “If Trouble Was Money”, which sports a syncopated beat. “CRB Blues” relates Slim’s suffering at the hands of an unrelenting boss man eager to dock a worker’s pay for any perceived infraction. Once again Slim creates a potent musical backdrop with his authoritative guitar picking.
Other tracks bring focus to several areas where this disc falls short. Slim has a deep voice with plenty of strength but it comes up short on expressiveness due to having a very narrow range. That limitation combined with material that lacks rich lyrical content is a hurdle that can’t be overcome, even with Slim’s stellar guitar work added to the mix. The performances on songs like “Leavin’ San Jose Blues”, “Persimmon Pickin’ Blues” and the title track fail to impress, with nothing to really distinguish one from the other.
Coyote Slim has demonstrated in the past that he can put together a quality recording. While his latest has its moments, it falls short of achieving the success of his previous effort due to weaker material and a vocal delivery that varies little from track to track. Here’s hoping that Slim will get back to his winning ways on his next release.
Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL.
Featured Blues Review 4 of 5
Lauren Jordan - Dreams
When I first put on this CD I immediately was struck by the fact that it was excellently recorded, balanced and mixed. Off to a great start. I have to say that no matter how good a singer, guitar player or band is if the mix ani’t got it then I just tend to pass it on by ---- but not this one. Not in the least. I’ll get to Ms Lauren in a minuet but right now I’ll address the band.
Guitar, Anthony Paule, what a smooth sweet tone he plays with and develops. Most of the time I know at the drop of an eighth note what guitar a cat is playing but this Paule has the cross between that tube amped ‘Strat’ and a fat solid bodied ‘Paul sound. Nice. Very very tasty. If you love that smooth guitar then Anthony is your guitar man. Bass, Paul Olguin, a musician who plays with the band and not against it. One of my pet peeves is a bass player who over drives everyone on stage or in the studio. Not Paul. He knows all the right notes and all the right levels. My kind of player. Keys, Julie Wolf, great keys seasoned just right and every now and then a pinch of that soulful sound I love so well the B3 sound. Drums, maybe the best for last? I really can’t say that with those guitar licks still right in front of me but Lee Thompson lays down the beat like a man torn between old style big band rhythms and an old school James Brown drummer held back for all he’s worth. Very very cool. All in all a band worth taking notice of now, on CD or live!
Now lets get to Ms Lauren Jordan - I’ll admit the first hand full of tracks were the kind of blues one puts on, pulls up their cutie and pours a glass of fine red wine to enjoy along with the music. That is until I got to track 6, ‘Stuck On A Plane’. Baby if this gal never studied the music of Janis Joplin I’ll be a monkeys uncle. Slow, sweet and about to explode at any second. You could cut her tension with a knife. Liquid dynamic with the drums laying down the style of less is more. My kind of playing.
It took several tacks for this CD to truly get my attention but now its got it. ‘Stuck On A Plane’, here comes that sprinkling of the Hammond sound, guitar leading strong but subtle block chord changes ------ building, building building! Oh yeah baby! This is the sleeper gem of the whole CD. Now you won’t want to fast dance to this one but grab your baby and slow dance the night away with her, Lauren and the entire band! Next is Angels Flying High. Hell Yes! More of that Janis inspired soulful Blues, can’t be missed. I’m not going to tell you about every track on the CD except that within the recording are some of the tastiest tracks I’ve heard in a long long time.!
Reviewer Chuck Gomez worked out of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events for over a decade back at the start of the Chicago Blues Fest, plays sax and tours with many leading Blues musicians/Chicago style. He is Columbia College’s special events producer and owns/produces/promotes the Watseka Theatre, Iroquois Performing Arts Center. The Watseka Theatre Blues, BBQ & Arts Fest is the last Saturday of each May. Go to: WatsekaTheatre.com for more information.
|2007 Blewzzy Award Best CD Winner & Blues Blast Magazine Best Song Nominee Release Second CD|
|Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires Words Are Like Bullets|
|Order atwww.blueedgerecords.com plus CD Baby and iTunes|
Featured Blues Review 5 of 5
The Blazers - Red Hot
These Canadian blues-R&B-rockers shine best on upbeat tunes. The first two portend a well played good time. By the third track “I Love You, Eternally” the fake party sounds take away a little from the sound, but after repeated listening they start to work as an integral part of the party vibe. The catchy sax riff and concise and sharp guitar playing also add to the enjoyment. The guitar playing throughout, whether supplied by band member Josh Gordon or guest Jack De Keyzer is on point. It appears as straight blues, rock, Chuck Berry-ish or with some twiddling ala Van Halen. Jack also provides the crystal clear production on this disc. Vocalist Pete Cohan is in possession of a pleasing set of blues-rock pipes.
The bands forte’ is funky-blues-R&B with a rocker’s temperament. They lead off with a funky R&B-blues in the form of “Flavour Of The Year”. The heavy rocker “Coming Home” owes much to Bachman-Turner Overdrive as it follows their MO of little substance in the pantheon of “see my baby soon” songs. The band ably establishes their blues cred on the slow blues of “Never Gonna Cry Again”. Al Lerman adds fine amplified harmonica playing to increase the blues vibe. Elsewhere on the record he supplies able sax as well. Blues-rocker “Blind-Sided” features biting guitar work, probably from guest De Keyser. Blue-eyed easy-rolling soul is done up in “My Weather”, ably assisted by Al Lerman’s sax chops and the organ of Dave McMorrow. A nod is given to The Rolling Stones via the “ew-ew” vocal backing and maracas at the end of “Wake Up”. The guitar solo on “I’m Standing Here” could have been lifted from an Allman Bros.’ record, meant here as a compliment.
Perfection isn’t achieved here, but when is it? The musicianship here can’t be faulted. Their influences, obvious or otherwise, are put to good use. Some lyrics tend to be run-of-the-mill and there is some need for attention to stronger song structure. Flaws aside, these guys seem to be headed in the right direction. They’re not red hot as the title implies, but the engine is well stoked.
Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at http://bluesdog61.multiply.com
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