At the recently concluded 2012 NAMM show in Anaheim a couple of my customers who I also like to think of as friends presented me with copies of their most recent CD’s. I’m sure you know how it often goes with free CD’s given to you. Most of them are lucky to get one listen if you can find the time and even rarer are those that receive a second listening. Well these two CD’s are of such outstanding quality and will take their rightful places in my “top shelf” cd rack for repeated listening that I had to write about them here and hopefully bring them to your attention.
The first is Every Kind of Blue by Tommy Bentz of Brickhouse Music in River Falls WI. More than ably backed by Bill Golden on drums, Clark Thaldorf on bass, the particularly impressive Seth Mulvihill on keyboards, the lovely Jen Burleigh Bentz on backing vocals and Kyle Bonderson on percussion, Tommy proves that he’s well versed in all forms of blues as these tunes are colored perfectly in various forms of funky, jazzy and rocky goodness. Settling into Tommy’s comfortable voice is like kicking back in your favorite old recliner and the angst of being on the road and away from family (a recurring theme) feels palpable. Tommy’s guitar tones range from soulfully sweet to razor ripping, the solos swagger and his slide playing especially stings! This is a sweet little slice of South of the (Canadian) border blues and I highly recommend it! You can visit www.tommybentz.com for more information.
Now on to my friend Jake Miller of Cascio Interstate Music in Milwaukee who presented me with his CD Genevieve by The Plainsmen. For some reason I assumed that Jake was in a jazz band so I popped in the CD and was surprised to discover that he tricked me into listening to an entire CD of both Country AND Western music! And I liked it!! A lot!!! It’s an outstanding release. (I later learned that Jake is in at least 5 bands one of which I’m sure is a jazz band!) This CD is chock full of sublimely beautiful country melodies and themes executed with exemplary musicianship. For more info please visit www.facebook.com/theplainsmen .
Who knew that Wisconsin was such a hotbed of Blues and Country? But these are two top notch releases from South of the (Canadian) Border that I can’t recommend strongly enough. Thanks and happy listening!