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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Tomas Doncker Band

Big Apple Blues

Review by Gary Hill

This has a real classic sound. Most of the time it lands in blues, but there is quite a bit of variety within that heading. Additionally, there are things that go beyond the blues. All the performances are strong, and the whole thing rocks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Big Apple Blues

This powers in with a raucous section, feeling like we’ve come in right in the middle of the song. It drops back to a mellow blues for the rest of the tune, though.

Can't Say No
Very much a traditional blues number, I love how this starts half way mellow and gets really powerful and on fire later. The harmonica is a great touch and this powerhouse is among the best tunes here.
The New Day
There is still quite a bit of that classic blues sound here. It’ gets tempered, though with more modern rock. There is an insistent bit of space music lending a different flavor, too. This is cool stuff, if a bit unusual.
Hellfighters of Harlem
This song is about black soldiers who fought in World War I. It’s a smoking hot tune that has a lot of funk and soul built into it. It’s another highlight of the set, no question. The whole piece just oozes cool.
At This Midnight Hour
More of a slow blues number, this has a lot of classic texture to it. The vocal performance really sells this, but the whole arrangement is magic. I love this tune.
Little Blue Room
This is another that’s pretty traditional blues, but with a bit of a modern flair welded to the seams. It’s a good, mid-tempo tune. It’s not really one of the highlights, though.
Coney Island
Although this is very retro in texture, it’s not really a blues tune. It’s more of a 1960s styled R & B ballad. It’s good stuff. It’s also a nice change.
That Horse
Here we get an energized, old school blues shuffle. It’s solid, but not really one of my favorites.
Ground Zero
This is a smoking hot, modern blues rocker. The guitar soloing on this thing is soaring and powerful. The whole piece, though, just plain screams out in passion.
Fun City
Another tune with a great retro R & B groove, this feels like it could have been recorded in the 1970s. It’s classy and fun and an excellent choice for closer.
 
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