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Reviews Written by
G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

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True & Blue
True & Blue
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hans and Terry together again live, 22 May 2015
This review is from: True & Blue (Audio CD)
Hans Theessink is a Dutch disciple of slide guitar player par excellence Ry Cooder and Terry Evans is a long-time back-up singer with Ry, the two have worked together before producing studio albums featuring material in a similar style to Ry, incorporating blues, gospel and rock and roll. This is a live album recorded in Vienna before a very appreciative audience who's enthusiasm is infectious - to both the performers and the listeners. The record features a pleasing collection of songs from their two previous albums 'Delta Time' and 'Visions' and features both men on vocals, guitars and Terry also playing harmonica. Although I have have reservations about Hans' vocals (and Terry's harmonica playing) I did enjoy this record which is very atmospheric, features some wonderful guitar playing, Terry's great vocals and an interesting selection of songs. My favourite tracks were the old pop song "Glory of Love" and Chuck Berry's "Maybelline"


Live +
Live +
Price: £9.99

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Beck live and in the studio..., 18 May 2015
This review is from: Live + (Audio CD)
This live album was recorded during Jeff’s 2014 tour with a band including ex-Wet Willie vocalist and harmonica player Jimmy Hall, Rhonda Smith on bass, drummer Jonathan Joseph and second guitarist Nicolas Meier and includes material from across his career, such as "Morning Dew" from his first solo album 'Truth' and "Hammerhead from his last studio album 2010's 'Emotion & Commotion'. The record also features two new studio recordings, “Tribal” a blues-meets-hip-hop rocker featuring Beck, Smith and drummer Veronica Bellino (which strangely reminded me of Jeff's playing with the Yardbirds) and “My Tiled White Floor" a more pop-sounding song with the same band and featuring vocals from Bellino.

The sound on the live tracks is very good with a good balance, Jeff's lead guitar is naturally to the fore but the vocals and the backing are also up in the mix. I wasn't totally convinced by Hall on vocals (he also featured on Jeff's 'Flash' album) but he does have a strong powerful voice that is at its best on numbers like the funky version of "Superstition" and the hard rocking cover of Freddie King's "Going down". Jeff's playing is as good as ever and he can move at will from heavy rock riffing to gentle, very subtle playing - often in the same song, as in the version of Hendrix's "Little Wing". He's taken his influences from rock and roll, blues and Les Paul and come up with his own very individual style of guitar playing that couldn't be anyone else. My only criticism of this record is that the majority of these tracks will be very familiar to Beck-heads (albeit in slightly different versions) and I would have liked to have seen a few different songs but otherwise a thoroughly workmanlike album, with occasionaly inspired playing. My favourite track was "Morning Dew", which brings back memories of seeing the first Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart.


Night Ain't Right
Night Ain't Right
Price: £10.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Expanded version of 1990 album by singer/harp player Charlie, 18 May 2015
This review is from: Night Ain't Right (Audio CD)
This is an expanded edition of an album that was originally released 25 years ago, with the tracks after "People" being the additional tracks (although these have been issued before on the JSP album 'Hip Guy'. I got my original copy of "Night Ain't Right" after seeing Charlie at the Gloucester Blues Festival in 1994 and thinking that he was an interesting artist. He is an individual singer and harp player and despite the electric backing and his amplified harmonica he still has that raw, gutbucket sound of his hero Sonny Boy Williamson II, while his vocals also have traces of rap as well as classic blues, although in the instrumental "Woodie" he also admits being influenced by Magic Dick from the J. Geils Band.

I still find this album 'interesting' in that it is a link between classic Chicago blues and more modern music but for me Charlie doesn't quite pull it off - his song-writing and his playing are both just a bit too "samey" and his vocals are a bit harsh and awkward, although there is no doubting that particularly his harp playing can whip up the excitement and he certainly has a gritty approach that few rivals can match. "Chromatic Blues" sees him playing a (surprise, surprise) chromatic harmonica and "Hendrix" is tribute to the late guitarist - with nice guitar playing from Robert Palinic. The band also features Charlie's wife Kerry on bass and Chip Oswald on drums and guest Larry Wise on harmonica and was produced by Charlie and Kerry. Three and a half stars.


Soul Food
Soul Food
Price: £11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Remember 'supergroups'?, 4 May 2015
This review is from: Soul Food (Audio CD)
The Word is a 'supergroup' featuring pedal-steel guitarist Robert Randolph, keyboard player John Medeski and all three North Mississippi Allstars -guitarist Luther Dickinson, drummer Cody Dickinson and bassist Chris Chew and this album was recorded in both New York and Memphis - reflecting where the guys come from. In addition Ruthie Foster adds her strident vocals on "When I see the blood" and Levon Helm's daughter Amy sings on "Glory Glory", which had a slightly more acoustic sound than other tracks. Apart from these songs and "Come by here" its all instrumentals featuring mainly Robert's steel guitar, Luther's slide guitar and John's keyboards to the fore and, although all are fine players, I felt that many of these tunes were a bit routine - although there is no denying that Robert's pedal-steel can certainly whip up things into a frenzy on occasion. Most of the tunes have the gospel-influence of Robert Randolph's "sacred steel", crossed with the rambling improvisation of a jam band and although I'm sure it's great fun for the guys to play with each other out of the confines of their regular day-jobs - I'm not convinced its that fun to listen to. My favourite tracks were the afore-mentioned ones featuring vocals and I also liked "Play all day" - one of Robert's catchy marching songs.


TONI&GUY  Classic Wave Memoriser 100 ml
TONI&GUY Classic Wave Memoriser 100 ml
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Extra body without the frizz, 4 May 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this product for my wife who says "As someone with natural, very curly hair prone to frizzing I am constantly on the lookout for the perfect product. I wanted something that stops the frizz but doesn't look too fixed. I am quite pleased so far with this Tony and Guy product. It did tend to be a bit 'wet-look' when almost dry but after a gentle soft brushing it was almost perfect and gave my hair body. Could this be the one?"


Multi-Sharp 1101 30cm 12-inch Cylinder Mower Sharpener
Multi-Sharp 1101 30cm 12-inch Cylinder Mower Sharpener
Price: £8.90

2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't work on my Panther 30, 1 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Looking at all the positive reviews for using this with a Qualcast Panther 30 mower I thought I'd give my 20-year old mower a long overdue sharpening. I didn't find the instructions very clear and the pictures were dreadful but it was fairly obvious how the sharpener fitted onto the bottom plate. However, I just couldn't get it to work even after taking the mower apart and putting it back together - the problem is that the distance between the axle and the bottom plate is just too small and therefore won't allow the blades to rotate and do the sharpening - and there is no way to adjust this. Very annoying, particularly as the it is only slightly too small.


The Sun and the Sea
The Sun and the Sea
Price: £5.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Eric in a NOLA soul groove, 23 April 2015
This review is from: The Sun and the Sea (MP3 Download)
This album sees Eric firmly in the smooth soul groove and also with that real NOLA sound - the adopted home of this Californian since the late 1990's. The album was produced by Sean Carey and sounds great with its brass and restrained soul/blues guitar - I would have liked a bit more variety and more blues than the predominant smooth soul but this does make for a really homogeneous record. My favourite tracks were opener "Going to California" and the soul ballad "You Look So Good in Love" - both featuring Blind Boys of Alabama-style backing vocals.


Live In 1967
Live In 1967
Price: £9.99

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live recordings featuring blistering guitar playing from Peter Green, 20 April 2015
This review is from: Live In 1967 (Audio CD)
These tracks were recorded on a one channel reel-to-reel tape recorder in 1967 in various London clubs by a young Dutch fan Tom Huissen who was living in London at the time. If you are looking for hi-fidelity recording this probably isn't the album for you, although the sound has been restored to a remarkably good level by Eric Corne of Forty Below Records seeing as they were left for nearly fifty years on the original tapes. If you are looking for highly atmospheric recordings featuring the burgeoning guitar genius of Peter Green then look no further. The band features John on vocals, keyboards, guitar and harmonica, Peter on lead guitar and the future Fleetwood Mac rhythm section of John McVie and Mick Fleetwood.

Peter Green replaced Eric Clapton in the Bluebreakers and these recordings show him still playing some of the 'Beano album' repertoire, such as "All your love", as well as some of the songs from his own Bluesbreakers' album 'Hard Road' - "The Stumble" and "Someday after awhile". There is a great rocking version of Johnny 'Guitar' Watson's "Looking Back" which was later issued as a single complete with brass section and a jazzy reading of Tommy Tucker's "Hi Heeled Sneakers" which I don't think John recorded anywhere else. The other tracks are mainly guitar-led songs by Otis Rush and Freddie King, with Peter stretching out on "Have You Ever Loved a Woman", "Stormy Monday" and "Someday After Awhile", which all last for over eight minutes and also tackling Freddie King's instrumental "San Ho Say" (at the time associated with Stan Webb of Chicken Shack).

Peter's playing is wonderful throughout, lyrical and sinuous, with great tone and attack and with the real deep feeling that he was always able to bring to his work. The rest also play their part, John's under-rated Hammond really fills out the sound and his singing is also OK, while the rhythm section powers the whole thing along in fine form - allowing the spotlight to fall on the ones out front. I was lucky enough to see the band at this time and this record really brings it all back - an essential purchase for all bluesers who remember that it wasn't all just psychedelic music in 1967. Also, I believe that Tom Huissen has other recordings from this period and I would love to see those released as well.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2015 1:38 AM BST


Suddenly I Like It
Suddenly I Like It
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Paul stretches out..., 10 April 2015
This review is from: Suddenly I Like It (Audio CD)
As well as presenting BBC Radio 2's R&B show Paul also fronts The Blues Band and The Manfreds, as well as playing in an acoustic duo with Dave Kelly, which all show his versatility and professionalism. This record is more varied than 2009's solo album 'Starting All Over Again' but again showcases different sounds from his other projects - it is slicker, more sophisticated - in the main still blues-based but including nods towards rock (the title track), jazz "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and soul "Soul to soul".

Paul welcomes guests including Joe Bonamassa who provides stinging guitar on the rocking "Beggar for the Blues" and Jools Holland who plays on two instrumentals "Mountain Boogie" and the traditional "Trouble in Mind" which also feature Paul's harp playing and which I thought were a bit throw away. Paul's harp playing does crop up throughout the album and is, as always, first class - as are his vocals, he still has a strong and versatile voice. Production by Carla Olson is very good, as is the band but for me it is all just a bit too diverse and random. My favourite track was the Jools Holland-penned "Remember Me" a rocking gospel song with great Hammond organ.


Bonetime
Bonetime
Price: £7.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new previously unreleased original tracks, 9 April 2015
This review is from: Bonetime (MP3 Download)
From the minute this records starts with the title track you know that you are in the hands of a master, a great harmonica player and singer with a swinging band, which on this track features guitarist Junior Watson. James is also joined on the album by former members of his Icehouse Band including the wonderful pianist Gene Taylor, guitarist Kid Ramos, drummer Stephen Taylor Hodges and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Turves, not to mention other guests such as Kirk Fletcher, Candye Kane, Sonny Leyland, Alan West and Mike Tempo.

The album features 12 previously unreleased original tracks which all have that immediately recognisable 'Harman sound', featuring his relaxed southern vocals and killer harmonica playing, but also manage to offer variety in the form of different styles of blues and great instrumental contributions from the guests. Many tracks also feature humorous lyrics, as can be seen seen from titles like "Blue Strechmark Tatoo", "Skirt" and "(I Am) The World's Badluckest Man" - which features outstanding rocking piano from Taylor and slide guitar from Harman's current collaborator Nathan James. Elsewhere Kid Ramos plays Elmore James-style slide on "Skirt", which also features Jeff Turmes on tenor sax, and the 7-minute slow blues "Coldfront Woman" is a standout track, with great piano from Sonny Leyland and guitar from Kid Ramos. "Leavin' Fire" is a nice 'semi-acoustic' track with more superb piano from Taylor and subtle guitar from Nathan James and "Bad Feets/Bad Hair" is brass-led rocking West Coast R&B. This is a really good album from a great artist who has never got the attention he deserves.


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