Carlos del Junco

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Carlos del Junco

Postby blueswriter » Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:45 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-26-05 AT 02:57 PM (EST)]Carlos del Junco
Blues Mongrel
NorthernBlues (2005) 0026

http://northernblues.com/images/cd_bluesmongrel.jpg

12 tracks, 57 minutes. Recommended. Webster's definition of 'mongrel' is as follows: "1. any animal or plant resulting from the crossing of different breeds or varieties. 2. any cross between different things, esp. if inharmonious or indiscriminate." With that being said, Mongrel is an apt and highly-fitting title for the new Carlos del Junco disc. With influences and previous work showing heavy touches of jazz, hip-hop, New Orleans funk, Tex-Mex, and bluegrass (del Junco's iceberg is massive), among other styles, his harmonica playing reflects an exciting and highly-modern twist in comparison to what many view the tin-sandwich as. In the hands of del Junco, it's not a small instrument, or a mere toy, instead, it becomes more an extension of soul and voice - and in many ways - it can be considered his voice. Carlos' playing swoops, swells, careens, and flows as often as the tides and it speaks volumes, often in tongues not heard in the blues realm. His covers of Little Walter's Blues With A Feeling and Sonny Boy Williamson's Nine Below Zero are intelligently crafted and heartfelt expressions of his love for blues, as much as Skatoon and No Particular Place show a desire to expand the borders of harp-playing. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of introducing your senses to the talents of Carlos del Junco, Blues Mongrel is packed from beginning to end with creative and stumbling grooves, brilliant harmonica work, and feel as thick as molasses. Spectacular stuff!


Eddie Turner
Rise
NorthernBlues (2005) 0027

http://northernblues.com/images/cd_rise.jpg

12 tracks, 44 minutes. Very good. Like many, you're probably wondering who Eddie Turner is, and rightly so. Born in Cuba and raised in Chicago, Turner's experience prior to this solo release included stints with Tracy Nelson, Zephyr, and Otis Taylor, among others. While Rise isn't a straight-ahead blues disc, the influence is heard and felt throughout the project, especially on tracks like The River - a modern instrumental based on Pre-war Delta slide, Johnny "Guitar" Watson's Gangster Of Love - a blazing tour-de-force of psychdelic blues guitar, and Freddy King's Play It Cool - a slow blues complete with dive-bombing heroics. Production is deep and layered, which works well considering that Turner, as yet, isn't an overpowering vocalist, but his songwriting shows depth on Ask Myself Why, Privileged Life and the title track. Turner's cover of The Wind Cries Mary gets special mention for its sparse guitar work, a sure sign of maturity, as many take anything Hendrix-related as an excuse to exceed the boundaries of respect and statement. For a take on blues moving further into the 21st century, Rise from Eddie Turner should please.

For more information on these and other fine releases, go to http://northernblues.com/ and peruse the catalog.



© 2004 by Craig Ruskey
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