Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Monday, June 16, 2008

Album Review: Ricky Gene Hall and the Goods

Artist: Ricky Gene Hall and The Goods
Title: (self titled)
Writer: Rick Galusha

I love a wailin’ guitar. Sure, there are times with the atonal sledgehammer droning of some players gets beyond the annoying nuisance stage; however, Ricky Gene Hall’s self titled third album is a solid guitar-driven rock blues record. Born in Kentucky Hall’s family drove the “Hillbilly Highway” to Ohio where Hall resides and tours today. A regional artist Hall’s underplayed guitar licks fully support his strong vocals and the power trio backing from bassist Tom Martin and drummer Rocky Evans. This is a strong outing that most contemporary blues fans are going to eat up. The band is adept and plays the song rather than throwing scales and solos at the listener without chance for respite.

While Hall’s chops are perfunctory and his songwriting is more melodic that most of his contemporaries, his playing is perhaps a bit too safe and lacks the gritty flare that often distinguishes art from commerce. A majority of listeners could care less about critical appeasement and this is a very strong record for them- instantly recognizable and easily digested. Hall’s ultra-smooth vocals and the band’s tasty playing is nothing less than wonderful. Hall’s guitar tone is rich and full. Ricky Gene Hall’s album includes appropriate covers such as Little Milton’s, ‘That’s What Love Will Make You Do,’ Taj Mahal’s ‘Blues Ain’t Nothin’ and the old standard, ‘It Hurts Me Too.’ The band writes five of the albums thirteen tracks with the arching ballad, ‘Rather Hear a Lie’ being the record’s radio friendly track. Other songwriters include; Isaac Hayes & David Porter (Stax), Percy Mayfield, and Louis Jordan.

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