Review: The Bluesmasters – Volume Three

Posted on: Friday, Apr 25, 2014

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The Bluesmasters – Volume Three

(Direct Music Distribution)

The Bluesmasters albums are created on a similar premise to that of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings; a well known and more than capable musician of good standing in the musical community decides to invite a loose and flexible cross-section of like minded friends and individuals to come together and play all kinds of music with taste and distinction, finally, select a varied collection of original, known and possibly lesser known covers, sprinkle them with bonhomie, and then hopefully, you will have a recipe for good time quality music.

With Volume Three this premise is maintained, joining Tim Tucker; guitars, this time we have Larry Thompson; drums, Doug Lynn; harmonica, Kassidy (daughter of Tim) Tucker; bass, Mitch Towne; piano and B3 organ. Hazel Miller provides lead vocals for six numbers and Mickey Thomas, three, with an instrumental to complete the ten, of these, six are Craig Ericson originals. Also providing support are; Hubert Sumlin, Ric Ulsky, Aynsley Dunbar, Rusty Anderson, Eric Gales, Jake E. Lee and Bob Birch.

Hazel possesses a vocal range that is infused with a subtle mixture of blues, gospel and jazz that sizzles like an ignited fuse and has the explosive raw power of nitro-glycerine. This is amply displayed within the two numbers that start with a melancholic B3 on “Suspicious”, which sorrowfully oozes and pulsates alongside Hazels’ raw, remonstrating and disdainful comments on a soon to be ex-lover, as a fuzzing guitar and metronomic drum work extends the pain.

On the second, Hazel confidently and boisterously extols the virtues and requirements of being “A Good Time Woman”, a bouncing; starkly sharp harmonica joins energetically pounding drums in an effort, to keep up with Hazel.  The highly infectious, urging and strident instrumental “Colorado Boogie”, is a blasting Chicago fuelled and harmonica led floorboard pounder.

Two of the featured Mickey Thomas numbers are, well up, to his usual high standard with a splendid cover of the Jimmy Reed favourite “Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do?”  The rasping, sleazy, crawling harmonica dominates the airwaves with Mickey countering with a plaintive and strident vocal that shivers. The other one is Eddie Moneys’ “Baby, Hold On”, here, it is an exciting and pounding fast paced r&b stomper which certainly gets the blood pumping; it also happens to be an audience favourite of The Bluesmasters live set.

Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

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