Bluesmasters review…February 27, 2014…

THE BLUESMASTERS

VOLUME THREE

DIRECT MUSIC DISTRIBUTION

LOVING MAN–CAN’T LET YOU GO–UP THE LINE–COLORADO BOOGIE–SUSPICIOUS–GOOD TIME WOMAN–BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO–COME BACK BABY–ONE I NEED–BABY HOLD ON

The latest installment of Mickey Thomas’ Bluesmasters projects is aptly-entitled “Volume Three,” and these ten cuts show just how far they have evolved as a powerhouse blues outfit.  For this go-round, the  guitar talents of Tim Tucker and the awesome vocal chops of Hazel Miller are on full display.  There are seven originals penned by Craig Ericson, one boogie-fried instrumental, and two cool covers.

Mickey Thomas is not totally invisible on this set.  In fact, he turns in a boisterous read of Little Walter’s “Up The Line,” and closes the set with a sweet R & B-infused take of Eddie Money’s “Baby Hold On.”  That song also  sadly serves as the last recording from Sir Elton John’s bassist, Bob Birch, who passed shortly after this recording was finished.

The remaining emphasis is on Miller and Tucker, tho.  They kick things off with the minor-key “Loving Man,” where Hazel exhorts to her lover that “she can’t love you like I can.”  She kicks a no-good cheatin’ lover to the curb in the slow-burn of “Suspicious,” tthen finds that one great love that “sticks around when push comes to a shove,” “One I Need.”  Both of these slow-blues gems feature the dazzling chemistry between Miller’s voice and Tucker’s guitar, as they playfully cajole one another to one high point after another.

We had two favorites, too.  The chugging drive of “Good Time Woman” has some tasty harp from Doug Lynn, and Hazel turns “Baby What You Want Me To Do” into a down-home juke joint romp with Mr. Lynn adding more fine harp.

With each successive release, The Bluesmasters have become a more explosive force on the contemporary blues scene.  “Volume Three” turns up the heat considerably, and definitely gets a “Like” from us!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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