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Lockdown Sessions: An International Down Home Blues Revue

Review by Gary Hill

Half of each issue of Music Street Journal is progressive rock. That means that things that don't fit that category can get delayed, particularly when we get a lot of expedited review orders. Multiple disc sets take more time to review, so that can increase the delay. With something like this, it's really too bad because this is such a strong release. I wish I had gotten to it sooner.

This is a series of blues songs that were recorded at the start of Covid lockdown. There are a lot of varying styles of blues represented here, but it's all quality stuff. Sure, I like some songs better than others, but it's all solid. It flows really well as a set, too.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
CD One
                  
Lockdown Blues - Tommy Schneller, Gary Winters, Marion Wade, Tomi Leino, Jack O Roonie & Micha Maass

I dig this classy blues groove. It's a lot of fun. The guitar soloing is tasty. The horns lend a lot of magic. There is a lot of jazz built into this romp.

Can't Get Too Close - Aki Kumar, Andreas Arlt, Jack O Roonie & Micha Maass

This reminds me of something the Animals might have done. The blues harp is a nice touch, and there is so much great retro styling here.

Personal Shutdown - Maddy Arlt, Marion Wade & Tomi Leino

I love the guitar sound on this thing. The rocker has a great energy, and blues harp is a real charm of this piece, too.

Death Letter Blues - Abi Wallenstein & Roger C. Wade

A stripped down, old school acoustic blues tune, this is classy stuff. While this has its merits, it's a bit of a let-down from the songs that preceded it.

Mean Old Quarantine - Fred Kaplan, Jack O Roonie & Andre Werkmeister

I love the organ and piano on this number. This instrumental is classy stuff.

Low-Down Lockdown - Michael Van Merwyk, Victor Puertas, Jack O Roonie & Micha Maass
A gritty blues grind brings this into being. I dig the slide guitar and harmonica on the piece a lot. This is a strong tune.
Get Me Outta Here - Roger C. Wade, Andreas Arlt & Jack O Roonie

I love the old-school guitar sound on this number. It's another classy blues romp.

Blow A Poor Man Down - Timo Gross, Krissy Matthews & Micha Maass

Here we get a song that is more blues rocker than pure blues. It's a solid tune and a nice change.

Boogie Galore - Christian Bleiming & Andreas Bock

There is some killer piano on this tune. The instrumental piece has some great energy and groove.

The Death Of Louisiana Red - Little Victor Mac, Roger C. Wade & Jack O Roonie
Old school acoustic blues, this has some classic slide guitar and harmonica interplay.
Home Alone Stomp - Andreas Arlt. Marion Wade, Jack O Roonie & Micha Maass
I love the groove on this. The guitar work really steals the show, soloing throughout. This instrumental has a jazz vibe and is one of the strongest pieces here.
World Crisis Blues - Kai Strauss, Aki Kumar & Fred Kaplan
Another old school blues number, this is solid, but not a highlight. I do like the harmonica work a lot.
Be Ready When He Comes - Black Patti & Joe Filisko

This acoustic blues tune is very traditional in nature and has lots of gospel in the mix.

CD Two
                       
Why You Lie - Larry Garner, Michael Van Merwyk & Roger C. Wade

This acoustic blues tune is full of class. I dig everything about it, but the guitar soloing and harmonica work really stand out.      

Hey Sweet Marie - Nico Duportal, Victor Puertas, Jack O Roonie & Andre Werkmeister
This electric cut is more of a rock and roller. I'm reminded of Chuck Berry to a large degree. The guitar solo is on fire, but don't overlook the piano on this thing.
Destination Mississippi - Abi Wallenstein & Victor Puertas

A bit more down home in nature, this has a driving energy and groove.

Come See About Me - Big Daddy Wilson, Veronica Sbergia, Victor Puertas, Gary Winters, Tommy Schneller, Juergen Weiching & Andre Werkmeister

Jazz is a major factor on this number. There is some old-school rock and roll in the mix, too. This is a powerhouse tune.

I Know - Roger C. Wade & Andreas Arlt

More down-home blues is on the menu here. I am fond of the guitar fills on this piece. The whole song has a great groove.

Sax Supreme - Tommy Schneller, Marion Wade & Jack O Roonie

Some stylish piano brings this instrumental into being. The cut works out from there, with the titular saxophone joining the arrangement. I really love the piano solo on this tune.

F*** You, Mr. Virus - Michael Van Merwyk & Fredinand Kraemer
An old-school blues tune, this is gritty and so tasty. As you can tell by the title, it earns a parental advisory.
I Can Tell The World - Veronica Sbergia, Max De Bernardi & Joe Filisko

There is a lot of gospel music built into this number. It's a classy groove that really works well.

Lockdown Shuffle - Christian Bleiming, Jack O Roonie & Micha Maass

A bouncy, driving tune, this has some killer piano work. This is a stylish instrumental.

Everything Has Changed - Aki Kumar, Tomi Leino & Fred Kaplan

Here we get a solid electric blues tune. The guitar really stands out on this one. So does the blues harp.

Come What May - Nathan James & Victor Puertas

I dig this song a lot. It's a gritty, more modern blues tune.

Give Me My Heart Back - Jens Turowski, Gary Winters & Tommy Schneller

Horns start the album closer. The cut grows out from there into a rather gospel tinged song. It's a solid number, but I think the previous tune might have made a stronger closer. 

 
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