Tomislav Goluban review…January 6, 2020….

TOMISLAV GOLUBAN

MEMPHIS LIGHT

SPONA RECORDS 2020

HAYLOFT BLUES–FUN STARTS HERE–COUNTRY BAG–DISAPPEAR FOR GOOD–MEMPHIS LIGHT–HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN–SPIRIT WILL NEVER GET OLD–PARTY TIME BLUES–WOMAN NEEDS A MAN–CAN I BE WHAT I WANT

Just about a year ago, we had the great privilege and pleasure to review harp wizard extraordinaire Tomislav Goluban’s tribute to Windy City blues, his “Chicago Rambler!”  For his latest, he’s motored south-by-southwest on down to Memphis for the nine originals and one scintillating cover that comprises “Memphis Light.”  Laid down at Ardent Studious, Tomislav, on harp and vocals, is joined by some of New York’s Finest as backing musicians, including Jeff Jensen on guitars, Mark Johnson on slide guitar, Rick Steff on keys, and Bill Ruffino on bass.  Special guests include Memphis singer and harpman Vince Johnson, and backing vocalists Joseph Franher, Daunielle Hill, and Reba Russell.

Check out the rollicking, slow blues of “Fun Starts Here,” featuring Vince Johnson on vocals, dealing with those women who have “ways that’ll turn a good man wild!”  “Disappear For Good” is set over a jazzy, rhumba groove, and deals with that innate fear of losing a loved one.  An upbeat tune is “Spirit Will Never Get Old,” done in tribute to a grandfather who had flaws, as do we all, but stood his ground when it came to courage, honesty, and wisdom.  Mark Johnson adds to the vibe of this song with his excellent slide.

You can’t go to Memphis without goin’ to a party, and the rockin’ “Party Time Blues” recounts a party that “lasts from dusk ’til dawn!”  Staying in that groove, we have “Woman Needs A Man,” built around the break-up of a relationship, again featuring Vince on vocals and fine keys from Rick.

We had two favorites, too.  “The House Of The Rising Sun” has been interpreted in many different ways over time, and herein, Tomislav and the fellows give this classic an uptempo, honky-tonk-ish read!  The title cut finds Tomislav being “struck by Memphis Light,” “the home of the blues, the birthplace of rock and roll, and the cradle of gospel and soul.”

Mentored by the late Philadelphia Jerry Ricks, Tomislav Goluban shines a huge “Memphis Light” over the blues community with this powerful and well-crafted set!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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