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brogdonius

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Steel
Steel
Offered by uniqueplace-uk
Price: £10.33

4.0 out of 5 stars you see that this is an excellent collection. The opening Monday Morning Blues sets the ..., 2 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Steel (Audio CD)
Being from the school that thought Savoy Brown ended with Chris Youlden's departure way back when, this album came as a hugely pleasant surprise. It's a quality bluesrock set of songs, delivered with some stunning musicianship and with a pleasingly crisp production. Don't get me wrong - this is not going to change the course of history. and Kim Simmonds will never rival Chris Youlden in the vocal stakes, but once you get past that and realise that those days are gone, you see that this is an excellent collection. The opening Monday Morning Blues sets the tome, with a grab-you rhythm that screams 21st century blues. The foot tapping Long As I Got You follows and features some excellent slide, and I Don't Remember You features one of those plodding beats that you do actually remember, and there are some shades of Hendrix guitar fills to go with it. Other highlights include Crying Forever and Keeping The Dream Alive, but you'd be pushed to point to any out-and-out duffers on this album. The bonus tracks are live versions of Blues Like Midnight and the evergreen Hellbound Train, and while they are welcome additions, the don't necessarily fit with the rest of the collection. If you like blues rock with a modern feel, get this; you're unlikely to regret it.


Confidence Fitness Rubber Mat for Treadmills and Other Gym Equipment
Confidence Fitness Rubber Mat for Treadmills and Other Gym Equipment
Offered by The Sports HQ
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Offers excellent protection for my carpet from the weight of my ..., 2 Mar. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Offers excellent protection for my carpet from the weight of my treadmill. I would think that this would be essential for most types of exercise equipment, and at this point in time I am very satisfied with the product.


Highway Man
Highway Man
Offered by MLG Merch
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars but it's a good time, good quality blues album and well worth ..., 2 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Highway Man (Audio CD)
Nothing earth shattering on this 1998 album, but it's a good time, good quality blues album and well worth a listen for the blues afficianado. Some excellent rhythms and guitar soloing from a guy who obviously knows his trade. Think Omar and the Howlers with slightly less gravel in the vocal department and you're not far away. Plenty of rock 'n' roll influence, particularly on the up-tempo numbers. and some nice organ fills complementing a fine rhythm section. I especially like the title track, Doin' Alright, and the Creedence/bayou rhythms of I Can't Help Myself. All in all, good stuff from a guy who obviously knows what he's doing, so don't overlook this damn fine album.


The Record Plant '73
The Record Plant '73
Price: £12.18

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No lumps in this gravy, 21 Jan. 2016
This review is from: The Record Plant '73 (Audio CD)
Nick Gravenites may be perceived as a bit of an add-on to the US white blues scene, but this rare performance proves that he was an important member of the west coast blues movement. This release on Shady Grove follows the seemingly usual template of offering little information. we are told that it was recorded at the Record Plant in 1973 for broadcast on KSAN-FM. The only additional information is that it features Paul Butterfield - you can see why they might highlight that. However, no details of the Blue Gravy line up are given, so we can only assume that Fred Burton is on guitar, Val Kilmer on bass, and Lee Bitner plays drums. Whether usual harpist plays alongside Butterfield is not clear, though the official Gravenites web-site indicates that Pete Sears is on piano.

The personnel is important to me because this release confirms what a good band Blue Gravy was - the playing is first rate throughout, and there are moments whare Fred Burton sounds more like Bloomfield than Bloomfield. At times you get the feeling that there is unnecessary harmonica, but with Butterfield in the band you'd want him to play, wouldn't you? The overall sound of the band is very together, and it's sad that they were so short-lived. Highlights are the opening Dekalb Blues, a great version of Anna and a stunning rendition of Country Mechanic. Add to the mix a rollicking take on Born In Chicago, and you have a thoroughly enjoyable collection of 70s US blues.

Sound quality is good throughout, maybe lacking a little separation at times, but that would be hair-splitting. This is a fine album and a tribute to the passion of Nick Gravenites. 4.5 stars really, with the 0.5 taken off for the information dearth.


Myths & Legends
Myths & Legends
Offered by ProgRock Wales
Price: £10.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Passable classic prog, 17 Nov. 2015
This review is from: Myths & Legends (Audio CD)
This is a surprisingly pleasing album in the classic prog-rock vein. Time signature changes, Chris squire type bass, and melodic keyboards are all here, and the songs are reasonable quality. Okay, the vocals leave a bit to be desired, and the influences are more than evident, so you could say it's derivative, but it is nevertheless a very entertaining listen. Reference points are undoubtedly early Genesis, Camel and Yes, and Osiris are not quite in that league of musicianship, but if you like those bands you're unlikely to be offended by this. Highlights to me are Free Like The Wind and Voyage, but the other tracks are also eminently listenable. If you are looking for the future of prog-rock, you probably won't find it here, but if you like your music in a classic prog style with plenty of enthusiasm, and some decent tunes, you won't be disappointed.


Chicago Line  Radio Broadcast
Chicago Line Radio Broadcast
Price: £13.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Chicago Line?, 18 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a competent performance from John and his band of the time - Coco Montoya, Rick Cortes and Joe Yuele - but the packaging is shoddy, and the track listing is shamefully out of sync/incorrect. The front cover tells you that this is a radio broadcast from 1991, and lists four of the supposed twelve tracks. The package is called Chicago Line, and that track is shown on the track list - IT IS NOT ON THIS CD! The booklet is a single sheet, which merely repeats the incorrect track list on the back cover. There is no information about the band make-up, you have to glean this by listening to the stage banter. In very small print on the rear cover we are informed that this was an FM broadcast from Minneapolis in 1991. That's pretty much it.
The actual track listing as far as I can tell is:

1) I Want To Go
2) Congo Square
3) All My Life
4) The Last Time
5) Jacksboro Highway
6) Sensitive Kind
7) I Can't Complain
8) Black Cat Moan
9) Dyin' Flu
10) Room To Move
11) Band Credits
12) Radio Station Outro

So much for the really abysmal presentation. In terms of performance this is a pretty good gig, if a bit subdued, to promote the then current album, A Sense Of Place. The songs are well executed and well worth hearing - the real bonus is a twenty minute rendition of Dyin' Flu, which is a real showcase for Coco Montoya on both vocal and guitar. It's this alone that elevates a 3 star rating to 4, and it's probably a 3.5 in reality due to the packaging issues. Get this is you can, but think twice before paying more than a tenner. It's a good gig without hitting the heights.
I should also mention that this one of those CDs with 2 second gaps between the tracks.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 19, 2015 1:53 PM BST


Sense of Place
Sense of Place
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £13.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglected masterpiece?, 15 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Sense of Place (Audio CD)
A fine collection of 90s blues tracks from the evergreen Mr Mayall. Featuring the basic band of Coco Montoya, Freebo and Joe Yuele, the boys are augmented by numerous blues pals, such as Sonny Landreth (tremendous slide work) and Debbie Davis. All the blues styles are covered with some aplomb, and the song selection is masterful, making it difficult to pick any highlights, although Jacksboro Highway, I can't Complain and Black Cat Moan particularly appeal to me. JJ Cale's Sensitive Kind is given a fresh treatment and Let's Work Together sounds pretty good as well. The musicianship is first class throughout, and the production by R S Field offers a high quality sound.
For some reason this seems to be an oft neglected work in John's massive catalogue, but it actually ranks as one of his most consistent albums. If you are a Mayall fan and haven't got this album track it down; if you're not a Mayall fan, this might be just the album to change that, so tack it down anyway. You won't regret it.


Find A Way To Care
Find A Way To Care
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Find A Way To Buy It, 15 Sept. 2015
This review is from: Find A Way To Care (Audio CD)
The opening line of the album - "It was early in the morning" - pretty much tells you what to expect on this well-recorded and consistent disc. John is in fine fettle on harmonica and keyboards - indeed his playing seems better than ever, especially on the excellent organ fills. There are shades of former works littered throughout - Ain't No Gurantees could be A Hard Road at the opening, for instance - but everything is so well executed that it sounds fresh and brand new. Mother In Law Blues is typical twelve bar humour, I Feel So Bad is wonderfully up-tempo with excellent backing brass, that doesn't overwhelm - indeed, the brass is handled delicately throughout adding just the right amount of texture without going too far down the jazz route. The title track features some nice restrained Rocky Athas guitar, while Long Distance Call is virtually acoustic, and I Want All My Money Back has a fine groove. Ropes And Chains features some superb harmonica licks reminiscent of I Should Have Known Better from the 82 reunion tour. Drifting Blues breathes fresh life into the Charles Brown original, and the two supposed bonus tracks end the album in fine style, War We Wage in particular features some sublime guitar/keys interplay.
There's nothing here that will shake the blues world up, but the quality of the songs and playing just combine to offer a thoroughly listenable and entertaining collection. Anyone remotely into the blues and John's work in particular should have this.


Five A Side
Five A Side
Price: £12.94

4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a listen or two, 1 Sept. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Five A Side (Audio CD)
A good solid album with some obvious standouts, and some not quite fully developed ideas. Ace were, somewhat unfairly, identified with the fashionable pub rock movement of the time, but they were probably better than many of their contemporaries. Any band possessing the vocal talents of Paul Carrack had a head start, and Ace certainly nailed it with How Long - possibly one of the best pop songs of all time. Why is in a similar vein and almost as enjoyable - both versions on this expanded package. The other tracks, notably Sniffin' About and Rock 'N' Roll Runaway, have much in common with Dire Straits first album, and are good examples of more laid back rock. Overall, this is an enjoyable package and bears repeated listening without being too demanding. It's a shame that the band did not stay the course, but let's face it. they were never going to emulate the success of that debut single, and it probably became a cross that they could not bear. A classic example of success being a two edged sword. Get this if you can; it might not blow you away but you will be engaged by it.


Live At The Cow Palace, New Years Eve 1973 (3Cd)
Live At The Cow Palace, New Years Eve 1973 (3Cd)
Price: £13.62

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could you not buy it?, 27 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I came to the Allmans late on, my introduction being the Wipe the Windows live set, so this line-up is well known to me. As such, buying this release was a given, and I certainly have no regrets. From the opening bars of Wasted Words, the band are in good nick, and the set list if well constructed. I agree that the performance may seem a bit laid back (it was New Years Eve!), but I think "lacking fire" is a bit harsh. Done Somebody Wrong and One Way Out pack a pretty punch, but the highlight of Disc 1 for me is the jazzed up Elizabeth Reed, which shows that Greg was a damn fine organist and that Chuck brought something different to the band.
Disc 2 offers a fine Jessica and a great interpretation of Hideaway/You Upset Me, although the lengthy Les Brers does flag a little to me.
Disc 3 (on this 3 disc version) is the real treasure here; the medley of Bo Diddley and Mountain Jam fairly rattles along, with Garcia's licks almost turning the Allmans into the Dead for a period - I could listen to this all night. Save My Life is transformed into a tour de force and the Blues Jam maintains the theme. A truncated You Don't Love Me, Circle and Mountain Jam reprise complete the proceedings, and you really couldn't ask for much more. I haven't heard the 4 disc version so I cannot compare, but I find it hard to believe that it could be much better than what's offered here - if you have any liking for the post Duane/Berry Allmans, you won't be taking any risks buying this set.
One query which I haven't seen mentioned relates to the front cover photograph - the guy on the far right looks suspiciously like you know who. Am I imagining things?


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