Rock and Roots

Gary Lee & The CatDaddys

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Gary Lee

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MN Blues CD Review by Chris Puyear :

This disc is a good blend of blues & rock styles. Gary has put together some real good grooves, three are re-makes of classics and the other eight are originals. Gary’s range of styles is impressive, from hard rockin’ songs to acoustic blues. Gary’s playing is fine and his voice is well suited for the blues.

In the blues/rock category I would include “Midnight Train” a kickin’ song with a nice guitar groove. “Stoned” is actually more rock than blues. This song has a big dose of wah-wah and some fuzz, you could imagine this tune coming from the late 60’s with ease. “Like Your Kind” is another mostly rock song, this one has a slow to medium speed hard driving grind, it’s an easy to like beat. Gary does some old style R&R on “Hello Josephine”, real classic stuff. “Little Girl” is one of my favorites, it’s hard to describe, not exactly blues or rock but this song has what I would call a rolling boogie beat. The beat just keeps rolling along, while there is a hint of acoustic slide guitar that keeps echoing, a real nice groove and a good sound.

Another track I can say is a favorite of mine is also the biggest surprise on this CD. After a few rockers I didn’t see this one coming. “Going South” is a great acoustic steel slide guitar tune. This is as sweet as it can get, just a man and his guitar. The playing is super, the style is classic and Gary’s singing is soulful. There’s a rocking cover of “Shake Your Money Maker”, the first notes have a thumping base line that brings to mind the band Foghat, we’re talking heavy duty bass. The song is done in a traditional way with a slight change of pace, I like it. “Burning Down The Barn” is a nice rockin’ instrumental that has both hard electric and some well placed acoustic licks.

If you like the low-low I mean real low down blues then you will like “Big Legged Woman”. A cover this ain’t, yes it’s the song you know but you’ve never heard it this way. Imagine Muddy doing the Hoochie Coochie man with fuzz tone, that’s as close as I can get. Gary’s version has a guitar grind that just won’t quit. There’s so much guitar I have a hard time picking out exactly how many of what kind are playing, (it doesn’t matter) it’s just fine stuff.

The final track is “New Orleans”. The title of this song is a perfect description of the style, it’s a slow soulful song that starts out with only piano and accompaniment, eventually some guitar and organ fall into place. Gary’s singing really fits this style, a nice ending to this disc. “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation

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Gary Lee

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Album Review : Bob Davis, CEO of writes - Each year there are millions of new CD's manufactured by thousands of artists most of whom never had any business releasing an album at all. In the meanwhile, there are many examples of great artistry within our midst that go unheard and unrecognized. One such category of artists are those with a "dated sound". This is personally offensive to me as a music fan, because it deprives me of hearing the "best of the best", just because some "tastemaker" who wouldn't know a great record if it slapped him upside the head declared that something he heard sounded "dated" to him.

Gary Lee - Nyne Songs (Funk/Blues/Rock/Psychedelic) - You know how some albums come with a "parental advisory" sticker? This album should come with a sticker that says; "If you are unwilling to use your mind please don't buy this album". Does anyone here remember the times when Black folks liked a group called Santana and it was cool? Well that wasn't so hard, because Santana was not only one of the stars of the Woodstock movie, and had AM radio crossover hits, but Santana gave plenty of nod's to Soul music on his first two albums. That's not the Santana I'm talking about. I'm talking about the Santana, starting with his third album that opened things up with voodoo funk, mixed with a healthy dose of Sun Raeque spirituality, all while keeping his rock base from about 1971 till about 1976. In other words not quite blues, not quite funk, not quite rock, not quite gospel, and not quite jazz, but something that touches on all of those musical styles. It's sometimes called "fusion", and that would be accurate, but not in the commercial sense that the term "fusion" gets used in most of the time, but in a more "organic sense" of the word. If you liked that version of Santana, then you will certainly dig the new album from Gary Lee called "Nyne Songs". It's all new music with a serious rock/funk/blues/spiritual groove that sounds earnest to my ears. This is music that you play late at night, you could be by yourself or you could be with a bunch of people, however it's not background music. It's music that commands your attention, because it's actually confrontational. It makes you either compare it to a ton of other music you have previously heard or it makes you turn it off. It's completely unapologetic to any radio genre and doesn't care about things like that. In fact some of it is even downright silly such as on the beginning of the song "Capurrnum", where Gary Lee takes the theme to the Andy Griffith TV show and makes it sound like something Sun Ra/Hendrix might have done. At other times Gary Lee sounds like a "southern rocker who spent a summer in Harlem". This album sounds "dated", but it's a whole lotta fun listening to it because it also exudes a confidence & optimism that could have only existed from about 1971 till about 1976. By the time the album is over with, you will find yourself smiling, yet at the same time wondering just what has happened to this world since 1976, that killed all of that confidence & optimism and willing to spend just about every dime that you have in order to get it back again, even if for only five minutes. However you also realize that we actually don't have to spend any money to get that kind of groove back, it really is just a matter of treating other people the way that you want to be treated. And part of that treatment means getting other people to listen to music with a groove like this, from another era, which is "mind expanding, without being mind altering.

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