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The Blues Forum

Winter 2000 Reviews

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Kenny "Blue" Ray:  Git It!
Tone King Records

Sonic Quality = 3
Mojo Factor = 3

This CD can be purchased directly from the artist at
Kenny "Blue" Ray


          What do you do when you have two reviews on the same artist and you like one CD far better than another? You state your preference and give an honest review stating your opinions. Kenny's "Git It" CD presents listeners with an assortment of tunes ranging from slow blues to pure boogie. It is, to my senses, in the older style of electric blues and features Kenny "Blue" Ray on guitar. In essence, this CD is all about how to play blues on a guitar without trying to emulate Stevie Ray or knock people over with blazing speed riffs. That, in itself, is a refreshing change of pace. This CD does not break new ground, but it does present players with a library of blues licks played with taste. Kenny is an understated player, perhaps a bit on the same page as Jimmy Vaughn. After listening several times, my reaction was that this CD reminds me of many of the older records in my collection......a guitarist who chooses to express himself without a need to play 100 notes per second. I'm not sure that I would recommend this CD to buy unless you have already purchased the one below, which, in my opinion, is a much better choice.

Reviewer:  Brian Scherzer


Kenny "Blue" Ray:  Way Down In Memphis
Tone King Records

Sonic Quality = 3
Mojo Factor = 4

This CD can be purchased directly from the artist at
Kenny "Blue" Ray

 

 

          Kenny, my man.........THIS is more like it!  If my review of Mr. Blue Ray's CD above this one seemed a bit reserved, it's because my heart was won over by "Way Down In Memphis". It's a totally different kind of recording. Kenny still plays his own style of blues guitar, but there's much more mojo in this one! Perhaps it's the fact that this CD has vocals and so much......MORE! There is nothing like a Hammond B3 and some great harp and sax playing to make a mix sound great. Kenny's playing is much more alive and toneful.....and this CD has such a great supporting cast. I loved Charlie Chavez's vocals, especially on "I'm Tore Up". Nancy Wright blows a mean sax on several numbers. Kenny's guitar playing has a lot of feeling in it and, once again, his style is not based upon speed but on making each note say something to the listening audience. This CD is very highly recommended for anyone wanting some great blues music that has its own magic....It's been in my car's CD player for many miles!

Reviewer:  Brian Scherzer

 

 

The Derek Trucks Band:  Out of The Madness
House of Blues Records

Sonic Quality = 4
Mojo Factor = 5

For CD samples or to purchase, click on the CDNOW Box:


          Wow!!....... My initial reaction to this CD speaks for itself. The Derek Trucks Band may have just created one of those special albums that comes along only every few years. Out of The Madness features the incredible talent of Derek Trucks on guitar. Derek is the nephew of Allman Brothers drummer, Butch Trucks, and the Allman Brothers influence does show through at times in the most pleasant ways. Truly a talent, even at his young age, Derek Trucks is a master on the slide guitar. He is joined on this CD by Warren Haynes, ex-Allman Brothers guitarist and current main man in Government Mule. These two players absolutely smoke! Add Jimmy Herring and other guest musicians and you have a classic CD to be treasured! The music covers a lot of territory and borders at times on belonging to a genre of its own. There is no way to describe this album in terms of doing justice to the humbucker-filled tunes. Rather than try, I would simply advise you to give this one a listen for yourself. It has moved to the top 5 of my blues collection and is, in my opinion, a masterpiece!

Reviewer:  Brian Scherzer

 

 

Doug MacLeod:  Come To Find
Audioquest Records

Sonic Quality = 5
Mojo Factor = 5

For CD samples or to purchase, click on the CDNOW Box:


          Doug MacLeod's Come To Find is one of the finest blues recordings ever made in terms of both sonic quality and sheer acoustic/vocal intensity. Doug has the soul of a true bluesman and a voice to match. This acoustic album showcases his acoustic guitar playing and gruff vocals, supported by standup bass and a minimal drum set, along with a guest appearance by Charlie Musselwhite on harp. This CD is widely known in audiophile circles for its superb engineering, which creates the sense that "you are there" in the same space with the musicians. This CD is a true pleasure to listen to. MacLeod's lyrics are timeless and his playing is reminiscent of hot nights on a front porch listening to a true bluesmaster. If you can live without electric blues and, if you appreciate strong vocals and incredible sonic quality, this is a "must have" CD.

Reviewer:  Brian Scherzer