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Profile for G. E. Harrison > Reviews

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Content by G. E. Harrison
Top Reviewer Ranking: 167
Helpful Votes: 5375

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

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Ready Or Not
Ready Or Not
Price: £11.47

3.0 out of 5 stars Master of the chromatic harmonica, 25 July 2016
This review is from: Ready Or Not (Audio CD)
I must admit I've not heard much by Dennis Gruenling but I'm aware of him through his appearances at festivals and as a harmonica teacher and from the fact that he mainly plays chromatic harmonicas and low-tuned diatonic harmonicas to give him a very individual harmonica sound. On this record he wrote all the songs himself and he also sings them all, in addition to playing harmonica. He is joined by guitarists Doug Deming and Dave Gross, Dave Keyes on keyboards (what else?), Doug Sasfai on tenor sax, Andrew Gohman on bass and drummer Mike Bram. The tracks are all rocking 50s-style jazzy jump blues and old style R&B with Dennis's chromatic harp featured heavily. Everything sounds very authentic with the band backing him excellently.

Unfortunately I'm not particularly a fan of jump blues or chromatic harmonica and although everything is very well-played and produced I didn't particularly enjoy the record. I would however recommend this record to anyone who wants to get into playing chromatic harmonica as Dennis shows what can be done with the instrument in uptempo rock and blues settings, listen to the instrumental "Count Chromatic". I'll go with the title track as my favourite song (Dennis plays a diatonic harp.)


Take Me High
Take Me High
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great guitar and vocals from Laurence, 25 July 2016
This review is from: Take Me High (Audio CD)
Laurence is obviously a very good young guitarist but on this his latest record the production by vastly experienced British blues producer Mike Vernon just lifts everything to the next level. Not that Vernon revisits what he has done in the past, from the opener "Got No Place To Go" with its Hendrix-y style solo this is very definitely modern blues rock. I was also surprised by Laurence's vocals which are also very strong and are right up there with his versatile guitar playing and also his song writing which shows a great deal of maturity for someone so relatively young.

Laurence is backed by Roger Inniss on bass, Bob Fridzema on keyboards and drummer Phil Wilson, with Paul Jones supplying harp on “The Price I Pay”, one of the album's most bluesy tracks. I also really liked the down and dirty blues "Down and Blue" and the somewhat similar "Take Me High", while "I Will" reminded me of modern Clapton, particularly the guitar sound. There is also a driving funky cover of the Stevie Wonder song "Higher Ground" where Laurence shares the vocals with Rueben Richards and contributes a rocking wah-wah guitar solo. As good as his last album "What's It Gonna Be" was I think that this record is a real step up and I look forward to what he is going to do in the future.


UK MADE BLACK DELUXE ADJUSTABLE GENUINE LEATHER DELUXE UKE UKULELE / MANDOLIN STRAP
UK MADE BLACK DELUXE ADJUSTABLE GENUINE LEATHER DELUXE UKE UKULELE / MANDOLIN STRAP
Offered by 1to1music
Price: £15.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Old style leather ukulele/mandolin strap, 20 July 2016
This is a very well-made, reasonably-priced attractive looking old-style real leather strap which is just the right length for ukuleles and mandolins etc (although it is adjustable). One end fits around the instruments neck underneath the strings, while the other end attaches to a strap holder but take note this end is a double thickness of leather which may make it unsuitable for some combination strap buttons/jack sockets.

I got my Leathercraft strap from the Southern Ukulele Store for only £12.00 including free postage.


Salter Aquatronic Electronic Platform Scale, White
Salter Aquatronic Electronic Platform Scale, White
Offered by Dawson's Department Store
Price: £11.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Compact and neat digital scales, 15 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My current analogue scales are as big as a large dinner plate with a large plastic bowl on top so they are a pain to store away in our very small kitchen, I was therefore really pleased to get these amazingly small and neat digital scales. Being digital they will measure solids in both metric and imperial and also liquids in mililitres or fluid ounces and you can also use the 'zero' button to add other ingredients into the same bowl to get a total weight.

They work on a CR2032 3v lithium cell battery (included) and are incredibly light and compact - a joy if you have a small kitchen. They do seem a bit flimsy but mine are working fine so far.


Rough & Easy
Rough & Easy
Offered by Music-Shop
Price: £11.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended German blues, 15 July 2016
This review is from: Rough & Easy (Audio CD)
The Delta Boys are from Germany and are Gerd Gorke on vocals, and harmonica and Michael van Merwyk on vocals and guitar both have been playing for many years and it shows, Gerd's harp playing is fabulous and Michael is no slouch either, his band Blue Soul won second prize at the prestigious International Blues Challenge - the highest placing by a European band in the history of this competition. The album is a nice mix of original songs and blues standards like Percy Mayfield's "Memory Pain" and Tampa Red's "Play with your Poodle" and also a nice mix of traditional country blues and duo versions of band songs like Bo Diddley's "You Can't Judge a Book". There are also some quite jazzy songs - "When You're Smiling" and "Glory of Love" - with Gerd playing chromatic harp, as well as lovely readings of Mose Allison's "Your Mind is on Vacation" and the old gospel song "I'll Fly Away", with nice slide guitar from Michael. This is an excellent record and as a harmonica player myself I'd love to be playing similar songs in my various groups.


Somebody From Somewhere
Somebody From Somewhere
Price: £9.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Boston to Nashville…, 15 July 2016
This review is from: Somebody From Somewhere (Audio CD)
Apparently Steven Tyler has said recently “Country music is the new rock ’n’ roll, it’s not just about porches, dogs and kicking your boots up - it’s about being real.” Which could be his justification for releasing this solo ‘country’ album recorded in Nashville with producers including Tyler himself, T Bone Burnett, Dann Huff, longtime collaborator Marti Frederiksen and the Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston. However, the first single from the album “Red, White & You” doesn’t sound like country to me, it sounds like overblown Aerosmith-style stadium rock, which come to think of it is exactly what much of mega-selling modern country by Garth Brooks, George Strait, Kenny Chesney etc. sounds like.

The opener “My Own Worst Enemy” has all the Nashville elements – mandolin, fiddle and squeezebox – but again it’s really an Aerosmith-style rock ballad, as are “Only Heaven” and “Love is Your Name” - again a bit of fiddle and dobro but with a big sound and heavy harmonies, although "I Make My Own Sunshine", with its ukulele and banjo, is pure cornball pop pap. The title track “We're All Somebody from Somewhere” is Tyler’s celebration of multi-cultural America (written with Jaren Johnston) and reminded me a bit of Robert Plant and the Sensational Shape Shifters, as did “Hold On (Won’t Let Go)” and “The Good the Bad the Ugly and Me”, all hardly country but more blues-based rock. “It Ain’t Easy” and “Sweet Louisiana” are both a bit more acoustic and country and for me work fine – certainly better than the ‘country’ version of the old Aerosmith song “Janie’s Got a Gun”.

Although some will slag off Steven for this country cash-in there are precedents - one of Aerosmith’s biggest influences were the Rolling Stones and they have repeatedly dabbled with country music. At the end of the day I think that many Aerosmith fans will find plenty to like here with Tyler hardly altering his delivery and stance, all that’s missing is the blues bite of Perry’s guitar, although to be fair there is still lots of screaming lead guitar featured on the album alongside the county twang.

Tyler is apparently out of favour with his Aerosmith bandmates after their 2016 tour had to be cancelled so that Tyler can promote this album with a tour with the Loving Mary Band (as featured on the album’s country soul rejig of “Piece of My Heart”). Next year will reportedly be the farewell tour by Aerosmith!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2016 12:14 PM BST


Loud Hailer
Loud Hailer
Price: £9.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beck ‘n’ Bones, 15 July 2016
This review is from: Loud Hailer (Audio CD)
On this album Jeff collaborates with singer/guitarist Rosie Bones and guitar player Carmen Vandenberg from the group Bones (“Girls Can’t Play Guitars”) and together with songs highlighting social issues (hence “Loud Hailer”) this has really given the music a different vibe from recent Beck albums, albeit still with the virtuoso guitar playing that you’d expect. The sophistication and expertise of Jeff’s guitar playing contrasts with Rosie’s punky vocals and a raw, basic rock sound reminiscent of the White Stripes or the Black Keys.

There are plenty of Beck’s trademark guitar licks throughout the album but the test is if you like it dished up in this modern setting and with these in-your-face punk vocals. Personally I think that it works great and that it’s good to see Jeff, now in his 70s, doing something different and a bit more contemporary however, if you liked his jazz fusion noodling this may not be your cup of tea. As well as the girls the band also includes bassist Giovanni Pallotti and drummer Davide Sollazzi, with production being handled by Beck and Filippo Cimatti. At this stage I’d probably go with the old skool “Shame” as my favourite track.


Scotch Super Glue Liquid in a Precision Applicator (SGAD-874) - 4g
Scotch Super Glue Liquid in a Precision Applicator (SGAD-874) - 4g

4.0 out of 5 stars Precision dispenser for Super Glue, 13 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Super Glue is a very useful product for glueing a variety of materials - looking back now I can recall several things that I've repaired with super glue that I had forgotten had ever broken. However, I can also remember a disasterous occasion when I managed to stick all my fingers together around the super glue tube when trying to glue a fitting inside an electric cooker and other times when the tube wouldn't dispense glue and then spewed out way too much. This new super glue dispenser comes with buttons on the side of the bottle which allows you to accurately judge the amount of glue released - literally one small drop at a time. I've used it to repair some trim on my ukulele to good effect, it dried quickly and the small piece of plastic has stayed in place and there is no excess of glue visible.

This is a great improvement over previous super glue containers but it does seem a rather over-elaborate engineering solution that may also come with its own problems further down the line. However, at the moment I am quite impressed and after use I wiped the nozzle the tissue before replacing the cap (as suggested) and hopefully next time I use the super glue it will still be working.


Nivea Sun Protect and Sensitive Sun Spray High SPF 50, 200ml
Nivea Sun Protect and Sensitive Sun Spray High SPF 50, 200ml
Price: £6.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent high factor sun cream from trusted brand, 7 July 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Nivea is obviously one of the trusted brands to provide great products for skin care at reasonable prices. This sun cream is factor 50 offering high protection, plus UVA and UVB protection and it is unscented and also water resistant. Its suitable for sensitive skin and contains aloe vera and leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturised rather than greasy. However, the bottle that I was supplied with was not the one illustrated with the spray top and the 'sculpted' sides - still an excellent high factor sun cream though.


Housse SEYDEL
Housse SEYDEL
Offered by JPVetGo
Price: £43.08

2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent case - ridiculous price, 6 July 2016
This review is from: Housse SEYDEL (Electronics)
I normally carry/store my harmonicas (and microphones) in a hard case but sometimes I don't need to take the full compliment (about 30 harps & 3 mikes) and so I've been looking at soft cases for around 10 harps or so. This soft fabric case by Seydel (made in Thailand) is well-made and holds 14 harps in elastic loops and zips up around the edge. However, I purchased my case from Eagle Music for only £14 and I notice that it is also available on eBay for £17 including postage - so this price is a real rip off. Excellent, good value case - ridiculous price on Amazon.


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