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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.

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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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