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Big Dez - Late Live
My first taste of French blues is this live release by Big Dez' horn driven, blues infused r & b band. And what a well oiled machine it is! Every horn line, keyboard, guitar and harmonica solo was well thought out and rehearsed and they click right in seamlessly. Not to mention the driving drummer and the funky on the money bass player. What we get is an energetic and fresh live performance.
The show is presented as a revue with an instrumental kick-off courtesy of Cannonball Adderly's "Sack O' Woe". Right from the start we are treated to the stop on a dime horn section featuring Gordon Beadle.
This is a very clean sounding live recording. Female backing vocals are added at times. Something we don't hear on live records much these days. Marc Schaeller adds well composed and driving harmonica on about half of the tunes here, often similar to Norton Buffalo.
After vocalist-guitarist Big Dez comes onstage the band launch into Dez' bouncy r & b original "You Can Smile" featuring tight horns and tasty organ. Dez has a pleasing voice that is well delivered. At times his accent makes it hard to tell what some of the lyrics are. As the show progresses this becomes a minor point as the drive and enthusiasm of the band carry you away. As evident from the ambience here, this is more of a dance-party outfit. No doubt the words are an afterthought to the audience.
Throughout Dez adorns the songs with his blistering, distorted guitar tone. He takes a long, biting solo turn on "The Come Back". You can picture him wringing the guitar's neck to bend out notes. Rodolphe Dumont contributes the occasional capable guitar solo in more of a B.B. King style.
The choice of songs range from anything like Rockpile's " I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock And Roll" to a straight blues or the funk of "Green Onions" or to one of Dez' r & b originals.
Funk and r & b touches run through most of the songs here. Bala Pradal adds a keyboard sound to "Call My Job" that recalls Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round In Circles". Marc's well crafted harp solos add a blues authenticity to the proceedings.
If all French blues bands sound this joyous sign me up. You truly get a happy feeling from these guys. I dare you to keep your boogie leg from moving..
Reviewer Greg "Bluesdog" Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse at http://bluesdog61.multiply.com
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