Joseph Veloz review…June 14, 2017….

JOSEPH VELOZ

OFFERINGS

BIG O RECORDS

JUST JAMMIN–GOOD GOOD DAY–MULES FOR BILES (BLUES FOR MILES)–JUKIN AND SHAKIN–HE LOVES ME (GOD’S PROMISE)–I LIKE ME BETTER WHEN I’M WITH YOU–JOLENE–KISS

Joseph Veloz has been a touring bassist for over twenty years.  He’s worked with Mississippi Heat, Lucky Peterson, Matt Murphy, and a host of others.  Also, he’s a highly-skilled producer, arranger, and composer, and his multitude of talents are on display over the course of the eight cuts that comprise “Offerings,” his latest for Big O Records.

Now, Joe has some more good things going for him that deserve a mention.  As are we, he is a true believer in the Lord God our Savior thru whom all things are possible, and knows he has been called to spread the message thru his musical skills to lift up those broken in spirit, and this set exceeds all those goals.

He enlists the aid of some of his good friends to pull this package together, so here we go.  Up first is a blistering combo of blues and jazz wrapped up in the instrumental, “Just Jammin,” which features Shawn Kellerman on guitar.  Eric Goebel adds the guitar on another smooth instrumental, “Mules For Biles (Blues For Miles),” with some serious keys from Jim Alfredson.   Shawn returns on guitar on our favorite of the three instrumentals, “He Loves Me (God’s Promise).”  This one has a quiet, reverent, almost-pastoral vibe that conveys its powerful message.

The vocals are just as strong, too.  You know it’s gonna be a “Good Good Day” when “my baby’s comin’ home on that next train,” and Biscuit Miller really brings the heat on his soulful vocal.  Lucky Peterson is all over the vocal on the funkfest that is “Jukin And Shakin,” over a cool horn section.  Greg Nagy handles the vocals on a sweet contemporary blues love song, the upbeat take of  “giving up on loneliness,” “I Like Me Better When I’m With You.”

We had two favorites among the vocals, too.  If you grew up in the South in the Sixties as did we, you learn all about that “other woman,” named “Jolene.”  The vocal here is from Jennifer Westwood, who has a slightly lower register than the original.  That, coupled with some fantastically-eerie slide guitar from Shawn gives this one a darker, edgier tone.  And, the set closes with one of Prince Rogers Nelson’s finest efforts, “Kiss.”  The whole band gets in a fine workout, including Joe on bass, and Joey Spina’s party-time vocals make this one tailor-made for the dance floor.

Joseph Veloz keeps the heartbeat and the backbeat of these songs right next to his soul.  He knows just what to play and just when to play it, and, with “Offerings,” he has indeed heeded his calling!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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