More Blues From Severn

Your chance to write big-time blues reviews. Only two rules: First, if you're connected to the band or artist, go to Shameless Promotion; Second, don't write a book -- keep it relatively short and simple, no 1,000+ word epics.

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More Blues From Severn

Postby blueswriter » Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:12 pm

Hey gang... here are more reviews for your reading pleasure and serious considerations. Still coming - the new Duke Robillard two-disc set on Stony Plain, the Sunnyland Slim box on JSP, and Chicken Shack's Complete Blue Horizon Sessions. Thanks to all for reading and participating. There's always more in store so please stay tuned. ;)

Tad Robinson
A New Point Of View
Severn (2007) CD-0040


11 tracks, 47 minutes. Recommended. With three years having passed since Tad Robinson's last solo effort, he's been more than a little overdue, and A New Point Of View proves he's still got skill in spades. From a blue-eyed soul standpoint, he's got very little competition. Granted, there are more than a few artists out there doing similar material (who also blow seriously good harmonica), but Robinson is simply a brilliant vocalist, and it's here where he is unmatched. Many soul singers possess a similarly disturbing need to go over-the-top in order to prove their worth. Robinson has never needed to go there - and he doesn't. His voice is pure and natural and his phrasing remains completely unaffected. With Alex Schultz on guitar, Kevin Anker providing keyboards and a rhythm section of Steve Gomes and Robb Stupka, Robinson garners stellar assistance on this set of mostly original material. Nicely charted horn arrangements and strings flesh out the disc and the songwriting is superb, especially on You Get To Keep The Love, More Good Than Bad, Two Of A Kind Blues and Broken-Hearted Man, a blistering slow blues with fine guitar from Schultz. In times when many of us question what qualifies as 'real' music, Tad Robinson stands tall and remains as real as it gets.

Sugar Ray & The Bluetones
My Life, My Friends, My Music
Severn (2007) CD-0042


15 tracks, 61 minutes. Recommended. It's sure good to see Sugar Ray & The Bluetones have been recording on a regular basis. The band has had its ups and downs and sporadic recording dates over the three decades (give or take) they have been around, but since his exit from Roomful Of Blues some years ago, Ray Norcia has relit the Bluetone torch and it burns brightly. The engine room is again commandeered by Mudcat Ward on the upright bass, Neil Gouvin provides his usually wonderful old-school drumming and Anthony Geraci returns on the piano. Guitar duties are split between Monster Mike Welch and Duke Robillard, both proving their worth with great rhythm and spitfire leads. Horns are supplied by Greg Piccolo, Doug James, Carl Querfurth and Bob Enos, who most will recognize as Roomful alumni. Louis Prima's Oh Babe, Sonny Boy Williamson's I Don't Know and Big Maceo's Do You Remember are magnificently approached gems. Norcia's songwriting skill is shown to great effect on Money Taking Mama, Shut Your Face, Little Green Talking Frog and The Last Words Of A Fool, a superbly-paced, pathos-laden rolling shuffle with exquisite lyrics. Laced with plenty of tough harp, rumbling piano, punchy horn arrangements and stinging guitar, My Life, My Friends, My Music delivers a fine cross-section of styles from a cast of veterans who know the true meaning of depth and dynamics.

Severn Records

© 2007 by Craig Ruskey
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