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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Virginia and the Slims

Busman's Holiday

Review by Gary Hill

This act specializes in swing music. I think that when they embrace that, and particularly the jazzy, blues side of it is when they excel. When they move toward other ends of the spectrum, they fall a little short. That said, this is never weak. It just that some parts work better than others. If you dig cool retro music of the jazzy variety, you are likely to find something special about this.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 2. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Let It Go
I could old-school bluesy jazz groove is in the driver's seat here. This feels like it could be some vintage recording. It's all retro class.
Take Me to the Mardi Gras

Less bluesy, the old jazz concepts are still in charge here. This doesn't have the same level of energy the opener did, and I think it suffers a little from that. It's not a bad tune, by any means. It just feels like a bit of a let down from the one that preceded it. That said, I dig the guitar solo.

Trace
The rhythm section starts this cut. The track works out from there to a killer bluesy groove.
Sugar Baby
I like the energetic groove on this. The cut has a bit of an old-school rock and roll edge along with plenty of jazzy sound. It's a powerhouse tune that's among the best here. The horn soloing on this is purely on fire.
Push on Through
I love the mellower, slower groove on this song. It has a lot of drama and magic in the mix.
The Way I Walk
I am also enamored of the groove and charm on this number. It's another standout. It has a great energy and lots of retro cool.
When Will I Find Him
Piano and vocals are at the heart of this evocative number. It's not the most effective song here, but it does have its charms and brings come variety. At a little over five-minutes long, this is the song that takes up the most space here, and frankly, I think it seems to go a little too long.
I'll Be Back Again
The bass work on this is particularly cool. The track has a great retro texture to it. It really works well. The bluesy guitar solo is all class, and the organ lends some magic to the tune.
Your Money's No Good
We get a killer jazzy groove on this tune. This is bouncy and catchy and a lot of fun.
Shine
There is definitely a little island vibe to the shuffling groove here. While this is a solid song, and I really love the guitar solo, it's not a highlight. I think perhaps the previous cut would have made for a stronger closing piece.
 
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