The Bob Lanza Blues Band review…September 26, 2016…

THE BOB LANZA BLUES BAND

TIME TO LET GO

CONNOR RAY MUSIC

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS–TIME TO LET GO–WHEN THE SUN COMES UP–YOUR TURN TO CRY–RUSH’N’ THE BLUES–FOLLOW YOUR HEART–DON’T GO NO FURTHER–LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME–YOU’RE NOT IN TEXAS–JOHNNY SMITH–WALKIN’ THRU THE PARK

The good folks at Connor Ray Music have turned out some mighty fine blues this year, including a June release of Bob Lanza’s “From Hero To Zero,” reviewed elsewhere within this forum.  Guitar man Bob’s latest set is also courtesy of Connor Ray, and is entitled  “Time To Let Go,” and the New Jersey native plays these eleven cuts with a sense of urgency mixed with his deep passion for the blues.  During his formative years, Bob traveled to New York to listen to guys like Johnny Copeland and Floyd Phillips, and you can hear their influence all over Bob’s blues.

For this set, Bob is playing with more emotion and power than usual.  He lost both his mother and his brother during the sessions for this album, and that pain of loss comes thru in these songs.  He sums up his feelings in two poignant originals.  First up is his tribute to “mama,” where he tells her that it’s “Time To Let Go,” thanking her for always having his back, “even when I was bad!”  Next up is “When The Sun Comes Up,” and it’s a song of redemption.   For Bob, after his losses,  he picks up his guitar, “puts my head down and pushes on thru,” determined to make the best of a “brand new day!”  Steve Krause adds harp to this fiery shot of blues-rock.

There’s also a healthy dose of good-time blues, too.  Bob’s telling us that, after grieving, you gotta go on with life.  He busts out some of our favorite covers to help in the healing process.  The leadoff  “Mind Your Own Business” is an all-out rocker, and we must admit, we’ve never heard it done with a horn section, courtesy of  The Cranberry Lake Horns!  And, Steve’s harp blows the heck outta that cha-cha-cha groove that drives Muddy’s “Walkin’ Thru The Park!”

We had two stone favorites, too.  Bob’s guitar goes into full-on Berry-licious mode on the stop-time houserockin’ tale of “Johnny Smith,” with more cool harp from Steve.  And, a dazzling instrumental, “Rush “N” The Blues,” again features the horns, as Bob plays this one in true, West Side, Otis Rush style!

Bob Lanza has had a tough year, personally, to say the least.  But, he’s turned to the healing power of music to make his losses the blues world’s gain, and we all benefit from the fine messages in “Time To Let Go.”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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