Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Michael Hornbuckle Pours Out His Soul into Soul Repo

It’s always tough on the kids of famous parents. Your entire life is spent in both the limelight and someone’s shadow. No matter what you do, the comparisons never stop. Even after you’re grown and working on your own, there’s always somebody who remembers your famous parent and wants to point out the parallel or contradictory aspects of your careers.
It’s only human nature. What are you going to do?
So, let’s get it out of the way early. Michael Hornbuckle and his brother Brian who plays bass, are the sons of Bobby Hornbuckle, a well-known and well-loved Denver bluesman. I must confess that it has been many years since I was last in the Mile High City and have very little working knowledge of their blues scene, but I know that even in the largest cities, the blues community is tightly knit and most people know each other.
We are our own small town, and Michael has been a part of that since he was very young – first as a drummer in his father’s band, later the guitarist who became the leader after his father passed away.
That’s a lot of responsibility for a young man, and let’s face it, living the life of a blues musician is rarely easy. Hornbuckle has faced innumerable challenges along the way and he has channeled them into his strong blues-rock blend. His latest album, SOUL REPO, recently arrived in my inbox and I’ve enjoyed sampling his work. His guitar work is solid and his expressive voice is easy on the ears as well. I haven’t yet gotten a breakdown of his musicians or songwriting credits, but will update this review as soon as they are made available to me. 

The opening song on the eleven song album is Sweat, a very solid rock blues number with some plaintive harp laid over a funky beat. This is good opening, it shows a hard-working band that knows how to give the audience what it wants.
Hornbuckle immediately slows things down a little bit but keeps the intensity up with Baby Rock. The guitar is in control and I really like the way the background vocals are mixed. The guitar lead takes off and the pyrotechnics are a lot of fun.
The third song is Me & Melody, and the guitar work has a crunchy edge to it, but the vocals are sweet – almost a California cool sound. I really like the way Hornbuckle and Company are able to adapt so many styles into their own mode of blues. I’m only a few songs into the album and I can’t wait to catch them doing a live set sometime. I can only imagine that they are a real audience pleasing group.
The band gets very funky with One Night. When you listen to the way he blends the lyrics with the harder edge of the music, these darker tones make them sound like a very dangerous band. This is the kind of band that doesn’t want to stay in one style – they want to blend different styles into their approach and that means anything can happen within a song. One of the lyrics in this song is, “Anything is possible when it comes to you and me,” and that could very well be the motto of this band.
The tempo is brought way down for Risin’ Sun, which has that late night grab your lover tighter on the dance floor feel to it. The drums are persistent but slightly muted and the guitar plays sparse notes and Hornbuckle’s vocals carries the song.
Hornbuckle keeps the tempo slow for Candle For Mary, it’s a song to exorcise intense pain. The build up is quite nice with its slightly distorted vocals increasing in intensity within the first minute or so of the song. The guitar adds punctuation of crying over the lyrics of lighting “a candle for the fallen one.” Very powerful song.
The mood shifts with a live rendition of Soul Repo. The band reverts back to its hard driving approach and mixes solid percussion with a Hammond B providing the spice. Hornbuckle’s voice is more of a growl and you can feel the band is really pushing itself. It’s relatively short at three-and-a-half minutes but very intense.
The next number, Hit Me Up, features Lionel Young and has a real old school feel to it with light guitar and a harp added to the mix. It has a real country blues feel to it and again underscores the band’s versatility. Wishin’ Well is another song with an old school feel to it though it skews more towards the rock side despite the harp licks. These two songs go together very well.
Angel starts out with a little piano and a slow tempo. The song is about lost love and trying to recover – the stuff of great blues songs. Hornbuckle softens his voice and that gives the song a more ethereal feel. He’s going for more of a soul sound with this song.
Hornbuckle closes out the album with one more live song, Back Seat Blues. This is a good rolling song with a boogie woogie sound – a fun tune that will end up on Time For The Blues and I imagine a number of other blues shows as well. It’s good.
SOUL REPO is a lot of fun – a good mix of blues, rock, and soul that is bound to have songs on it to please just about everyone. I like the band’s energy and really hope to catch them live soon. If you are interested in checking them out to see where they will be playing, or to purchase the album, visit their website at http://www.hornbucklemusic.com/.
I definitely think it’ll be worth your while.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Tune In For Some Hot Leftovers

Ah, you got to love those Thanksgiving Traditions. I’m sure your family has its share, and we certainly have ours around the Time For The Blues World Headquarters. For one thing, there’s great food and scintillating conversation. At least that’s what I’m told. Henry and I tend to be glued to separate television screens – his is blaring football, and mine is tuned in to the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Turkey Day Marathon.
When it’s finally time for enjoying the great feast, for some reason there’s never enough room at the adults table, so Henry and I are exiled to the children’s table (an old beat up card table) where we are seated on wobbly chairs. At least we don’t have to talk politics,
Afterwards, when the tryptophan is kicking in we look up and realize we have to put together a show for Saturday night. After all, it’s our traditional HOT LEFTOVERS show, our major tradition created exclusively for Time For The Blues.
This is Henry’s baby, and I’m only saying that because he doesn’t get enough credit sometime for having really good ideas. Plus, if I give him praise in public, he won’t ask for a raise this year….
But seriously, we’ve been doing this show for a little over 10 years now (shameless plug) and this has been the one show we’ve done every single year. Think about it, after Thanksgiving, we practically live off of leftovers for the better part of a week. And I for one, love it!
So what better excuse is there for us revisiting some of our favorite performers from the past year and playing a song from their album that, for whatever reason, did not make it onto one of our shows? Henry spends the better part of the month of October going through all of our shows, checking playlists, and combing through albums to see what we missed.
Then he puts them all together, and finds those little nuggets that we might have missed and before you know it, he has assembled one giant smorgasbord of a great blues show.
Now I’m getting hungry. So without further ado, you should get ready because on Saturday Night at 11 we are pulling out all the stops (not to mention our belts that are suddenly very tight) and playing some great music you should have heard earlier, but didn’t.
Here’s the menu for tonight: we have helpings of Lisa Mann, our friend from Portland who’s been winning just about every award the past couple of years with songs from her 2016 release Hard Times, Bad Decisions. For our Cajun inclined family and friends, we have a nice selection of Alligator. Alligator Records, that is. We have music from Luther Allison, Curtis Salgado, and Toronzo Cannon.
Very tasty!
How about a little music from the ladies? We have Fiona Boyes and Janiva Magness, two of our favorite women who play the blues.
Then we’ve got a few little odds and ends. What can I say? Some people like their sweet potatoes with little marshmallows and some don’t. We’ve got Junior Wells, Guy Davis, and Jimi Hendrix. The Hendrix is cheating a little bit, because we just got the record in and couldn’t wait to play it.
Another of our specialties is our Unusual Suspects Show where we feature people who are not normally associated with the genre play the blues. Henry has not told me what’s going to be in this set, but he swears we’re going to enjoy it.
(Henry here, John hasn’t seen this part. I’ve got what may be the ONLY Beach Boys blues song, one from early James Taylor, and a Dave Edmunds song we’ve never played before. I think you’re really going to like them. Don’t tell John though, I like to fool him.)
So shake off that too much food feeling and get a little funky. Take that nap if you have to, but be ready to stay up late and shake off a few calories because we know you’ll want to move around.
Time For The Blue, Saturday night at 11 eastern on 88.9 WCVE-FM and online at ideastations.org. We’ll save the drumstick for you, or at least some Tofurkey…



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Charles Walker Band Showcases Ghetto Prophet and Comes To Town

Did you ever have one of those jobs to do that you were actually looking forward to doing, but everything kept creeping into your way making it impossible to get the job done? That’s what’s been happening around here for the past several weeks.
A favorite rhythm and blues act, The Charles Walker Band, was heading to the area for only their second appearance and I wanted to write up an article about how good they were and review their last couple of releases, but every time I sat down to write, it just didn’t happen. So, like most of the term papers I wrote as an undergrad, I’m finally getting started at 2 a.m. the day that it’s due.
Sorry about that Charles Walker fans. Not to mention The Tin Pan that will be host to the group in just a few short hours.
The most recent release that I’ve been able to obtain is their 2014 EP, GHETTO PROPHET.  The five-song disc features four originals and a funky cover of Carly Jepson’s big hit Call Me Maybe. I’m not sure what the original decision process was in picking that number, but it did go a long way to show that a top band can mold almost any song to their style and breathe new life into it.
For this project, The Charles Walker Band is made up of a very tight quartet. Walker himself triples on keys, organ, and tenor saxophone; Porsche Carmon handles the lead and background vocals; Luther Tate plays bass; and Emmanuel Folkes plays drums and chimes. They had a little help from friends: Don Kennedy on guitar; Jeremiah Osei on clavinet and synth; and Ryan Shedimeyer on percussion.
The album kicks off with some high-energy funk and Carmon’s vocals. Can I Hide Love is one of those songs that makes it difficult to sit in your seat instead of getting up and moving on the dance floor. Walker delivers one of his trademark sax breaks and the song gets everything off to a great start.
Just when you think the band is going to slow things down with Got Me Sangin, they kick the tempo back up. So far the first couple of songs have a solid retro feel with dance grooves layered with a rhythm and blues approach. It’s also evident that this is a band that really needs an audience to reach its fullest potential.
One In A Million continues in that vein with some strong drum work laying down the backbone for Walker’s keys. Carmon has a great voice. Walker’s keys take on almost a new wave feel and Tate’s bass mixes well with Folkes’ drums to lay down a great foundation.
The band actually does slow things down for some old school soul on Blind Woman See. This is the portion of the album where you dream of holding that special someone just a little closer and stare into their eyes. It’s a beautiful song and one that is guaranteed to make you feel a little more in love than you were before.
Call Me Maybe just might be considered a strange song to include on the album, but Carmon’s sharp vocals and the retro feel the band provides makes it a completely different song. This is not just the pop hit that was on every Top 40 radio for month, it’s almost a complete reimagining of the tune.
The one drawback I see to Ghetto Prophet is that just when it really has you hooked, it stops. It’s just too short for a tight band such as this. I have to wonder what more the band might have had up it’s collective sleeve, but maybe a live appearance will answer that question.
I couldn’t begin to tell you what The Charles Walker Band has planned for their appearance at The Tin Pan. Recently, on Time For The Blues, we sampled a few songs not only from Ghetto Prophet but from their 2007 release The World And Things. I really enjoy their sound a lot – I’m a big fan of any kind of music with a deep soul and the two albums I’ve been fortunate enough to sample prove that they have an ample supply of soul from which to draw.

For more information, be sure to check out their website at http://www.walkerband.com/. And if you come to the show at the Tin Pan on November 17, be sure to stop by and say hi. I’ll be there with a passel of friends and there’s always room for one more!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tinsley Ellis Rolls Through Richmond

If life were a Disney movie (and some say it is), Tinsley Ellis would be that strange man who lives down the block a ways. He never really yells at anyone to stay off his lawn, but he’s kind of different and keeps to himself. Sometimes you hear music coming from his house, and by the end of the movie you would discover that he was the one playing that music and everyone would start flocking to his house for a rocking good time.
Ellis is one of those great secrets as he is well-known to those fortunate enough to know him, but unless you are already among the initiated, chances are you might just pass on attending one of his shows. And that’s a shame, because Tinsley Ellis is one of the hardest working players in the business and he puts on a killer show.
On November 11th, Ellis landed in The Tin Pan, a cozy little nightspot that seats a couple hundred fans, and flanked by Jonathan Holland on bass and Eric Kosinski on drums, proceeded to deliver one of the best blues shows of the year. Fresh off their appearance on the most recent Blues Cruise the trio quickly tore into Cut You Loose and the crowd was immediately hooked.
He quickly followed with To The Devil For A Dime and a smoking version of A Quitter Never Wins. Three songs in and the audience was hanging on every note. Of course, it’s pretty safe to assume that the vast majority of people in the audience knew what to expect. Ellis has been coming to Richmond since somewhere around 1980 and built up a loyal fan following here and in all those other cities where he’s been playing his fiery brand of rock and blues.
At this point he took a moment to announce that he was here with a new album, Red Clay Soul, and since I knew I didn’t have that one yet, chalked up some money to pick it up after the show. Ellis then launched into the opening track from that album, All I Think About. Oh yeah, I’m going to like this album and can’t wait to play it on Time For The Blues.
He then has a little fun with one of the instrumentals from his album Get It!  This time he offered up his take on Bo Diddley’s Detour. It was a raucous and fun song and was a nice way to showcase a selection from one of his more interesting albums. Next up was a blistering version of The Axe which slowed things down nicely.

The most recent previous title, Tough Love, was represented by Midnight Ride, and then it was back to Get It! for Catalunya. He finished up this portion of the show with Freddie King’s Double Eyed Whammy. You can never go wrong with a selection from Freddie King.
At this point, Ellis switched guitars and picked up a National Steel Resonator for a change of pace quiet acoustic approach. He ripped through Muddy Waters’ I Can’t Be Satisfied, and then to give equal time to Howlin’ Wolf, started in on his version of Little Red Rooster. One audience member was so moved, he pulled out a harmonica and played along.
(By the way, in case you were wondering, that’s rarely a good idea.)
He switched guitars again and the trio blasted their way through Highwayman and Pawnbroker and the audience give them a prolonged standing ovation. After the obligatory walk off the stage and return, the band ran through two more numbers: If The River Keeps Rising and Rockslide.
Once again, The Tin Pan has been the host of a great blues show. I can only hope that they will continue to bring in some of the best acts from the genre, so to be sure you better keep checking their website along with that of The River City Blues Society. You don’t want to miss anything that is coming to town!


(Photos of Tinsley Ellis were taken by Jeff Scott of Jeff Scott Shots. He's an amazing photographer and we are lucky to have him as a member of the Time For The Blues family. If you haven't checked out his work, get yourself over to http://www.jeffscottshots.com/ pronto. I think you're going to like his stuff a lot.)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Leon Russell Passes Away at 74

I am devastated by the news that Leon Russell has died. I have been a fan of his for many years and was fortunate enough to see him on several tours – sometimes in large Coliseum venues but more often in smaller intimate places with a couple of hundred like-minded fans.
He never failed to deliver a fantastic show. His piano playing combined elements of country, gospel, jazz, blues, and rock and his gravelly voice was perfectly suited for hard rocking, enthusiastic shouting – but it was also wonderfully seductive.
After being a background player for years, he burst onto the performing scene on his own. He appeared on the Madison Square Garden stage for George Harrison’s A Concert For Bangladesh and pretty much stole the show. With his trademark Top Hat (later changed to a white cowboy hat to be true to his Oklahoma roots) and his barrelhouse piano – Russell rocked hard.
He also put together the band for Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs And Englishmen tour in a mere 10 days, with himself as the anchor. Russell became a co-star as he provided vocals for several of the songs and he kept the hard partying group on point. Just recently Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeshi put together a tribute to this great show and included as many of the original members of the band as possible. Once again, Russell served as the anchor. During his more recent concerts he told a few stories and performed the closing number from the show. It was the kind of moment where you felt like crying and giving a standing ovation at the same time.
It was on that last tour that my wife and I saw him at The Tin Pan in Richmond, VA. An intimate venue that seats about 200 people, it was the perfect place to see the man whose music I had long admired. We were within 15 feet of him and had a great view of his back and side. For two hours he took us on the magical journey of his career, offering bits and pieces from his major works, and some of the best selections that might not have been hits but were still amazing undiscovered gems.
Unfortunately, Russell’s health has been precarious over the last several years. He underwent a five-and-a-half-hour operation to repair a brain leakage and he had a heart attack this past July. On that last tour, he used his cane and still needed assistance from one of his players to walk to the stage.
But seated behind his piano, he was in total command. His shoulder length silver white hair and beard accentuated his weathered face, and the music that he was able to summon transported his die-hard fans to a different place and time.
For those of you who were lucky enough to see Leon Russell live, you already know what I’m talking about. For those of you who missed that opportunity, no words will never be enough to give you that experience.
Thank you, Leon, for the music, the memories, and the love you shared with us all. You will live on in our hearts.

For the full review of the Leon Russell concert, please check out: http://professorjohnnyp.blogspot.com/2016/03/legendary-leon-russell-rocks-tin-pan.html.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Missy Raines And The New Hip Explore A New Frontier

There was a time, not terribly long ago but at least a few years, when I was producing country music shows for some friends. I’ve always enjoyed what people sometimes call “Classic” Country as well as bluegrass for many of the same reasons that I love the blues. I love the stories, I love the emotion, and I love the musicianship that goes into the recording of each song.
Recently, here at this little blog we’ve been exploring some works that are not necessarily blues, but more correctly considered Roots or Americana music. I’m not too hung up on labels – to me it’s either good music or I don’t write about it. Fortunately, several more labels and a handful of publicists have been sending me great music that might not be right for Time For The Blues, but I still want to tell you about them and share the music with you.
Such an album is NEW FRONTIER by Missy Raines And The New Hip. Raines and Company are well known on the bluegrass circuit, but are absolutely brand new to me. I seriously doubt that they would have crossed my radar had they not been coming to town to perform on Saturday November 12 at the Tin Pan.
I’m a big believer in live music. I think an evening enjoying live music beats an evening of doing almost anything else. And discovering new music is a pleasure that is also near the top of my enjoyment pyramid. New music expands our horizons and leaves us open to new experiences – and if I may, do yourself a favor and experience Missy Raines And The New Hip at your first opportunity.
On this new 10-song album, which is a departure from their traditional bluegrass sound, Raines (who plays bass and provides the lead vocals) is backed by Ethan Ballinger on acoustic and electric guitars, Rhodes, banjo, Wurlitzer, and vocals; Jarrod Walker on mandolin, acoustic guitar, and vocals; and Josh Fox or drums and percussion. Special guests include Sam Bush on mandolin, slide mandolin, and vocals; Robert Crawford on drums; and Zach Bevill (who wrote or co-wrote three of the albums songs) on vocals.
The album starts off appropriately enough with Raines’ bass and backed by Fox’ drums (with brushes). I Learn is a smooth as honey tune that showcases Raines’ expressive vocals and Walker’s mandolin. Very quickly I am under their spell enjoying this quiet new sound.
Blackest Crow is a traditional song that is given a slight update with Ballinger’s electric guitars, but the star is still Raines’ voice. She purrs her delivery like a jazz singer at the top of her game – the sounds blend sweetly and pull you in. It’s difficult to pigeon hole the group, so forget trying and just enjoy.
The second of Zach Bevill’s songs is the title track, New Frontier. His lyrics are strong (and he provides backing vocals as well) and well delivered by Raines. Here, the softness works to underscore the fear and excitement of facing the unknown. It’s a beautiful song.
Raines and company are in good form for Nightingale. Her voice takes control quickly and holds us enthralled throughout. She follows with Long Way Back Home, and she and the band take on a slightly harder edge. It’s a good touch and gives the album a larger dimension.
Raines co-wrote Where You Found Me with Zach Bevill and the song has a different feel to it. The lyrics are strong as are her vocals, but the music itself takes a slightly different approach. There is a longing to the song and it is a real highlight.
The plaintive opening of Kite catches your ear with its quiet simplicity. It’s long been a show business dictate that if you want to force your audience to listen – whisper. Raines whispers for a while before turning Ballinger lose with the guitars. Walker’s mandolins add just the right spice to the mix.
At five minutes even, When The Day Is Done is the longest song on the album. It’s also an unusual selection with its emphasis more on Crawford’s drums and Fox’ percussion. I like the sound very much and hope to hear some more of it.
The next song, What’s The Callin’ For?, has a strong country flavor. Yes, there is some radio friendly country in the mix, but Bush’s mandolin adds a nice old-school touch. The man is one of the best in the business and here you can see why. If push comes to shove and I have to pick a favorite song on the album, this one is damn close.
The album ends with American Crow, opening with a nod to their bluegrass roots with the banjo and the evocative imagery of the lyrics. It’s a quiet tune and a good way to bring this album to a close.

This is not an album that you are going to hear on Time For The Blues, but if I ever get that Americana/Roots/Blues/Etc show I want, then you will definitely hear it there. I confess my ignorance of Raines but can assure you that I will be correcting that post haste. A good place to start is her website: http://missyraines.com/ which has a great deal of information about her, the band, and their appearances – which includes that trip to The Tin Pan on November 12.

Somebody save me a seat on the front row will ya?

(Photo of Missy Raines by Deone Jahnke. Used by permission.)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Willie DE Wants Us To Get All Aboard The Thunder Train

Forget the youthful face, Willie DE’s got an old soul; the kind of soul that’s seen a lot and it comes through in his music. If you are looking for a strictly blues album, All Aboard The Thunder Train is not going to be your cup of tea, but if you are willing to listen to some other influences, primarily jazz and Americana style music, you will be in for a real treat. DE’s vocals are crisp and his guitar playing is steady without relying on pyrotechnics to spice up his songs.
DE has honed his chops, first as a kid busking in front of Charlottesville’s Scott Stadium where he entertained the crowds with covers, originals, and anything the audience shouted at him; later at VCU’s School of Music (which is housed in the same building where your humble narrator used to teach). Now he’s a full-fledged musician – working not only the usual music haunts but appearing in major festivals such as Floyd Fest, which attracts top players from around the world.
Like many early efforts by major musicians, DE is supported by the efforts of many friends and fellow players, not necessarily a core band. This is partially true, I’m assuming, as DE is still evolving and looking for his signature sound. Not every artist finds it right away and this album, as good as it is, still has a feel of experimentation.
See, we’re already back to the jazz influence.
Make no mistake, I enjoy jazz very much, and his spirit of experimentation is one of those key elements that drew me into his album. Much as he is trying out new things musically, he’s also trying out new sounds as evidenced by the collections of contributors to the album. While DE wrote all ten of the songs and handled all the lead vocals and guitars, he was joined by Nate Brown on drums; John D’earth on flugelhorn and trumpet; Peter DelGrosso on piano and French horn; Simon Evans and Randall Pharr on double bass; Wells Hanley on piano and Fender Rhodes; Jonah Kane-West on organ; Morwenna Lasko on violin; Bobby Read on soprano and tenor saxophone; Jeff Romano on percussion and harmonica; Gina Sobel on flute and background vocals; Devon Sproule on background vocals; Brian Wahl on electric bass; and Drew Weaver on concert bass drum, cajon, and drums.  
By the way, DE is short for Denton-Edmundson which is a little difficult to say when being introduced on stage. DE is a cool stage moniker and gives this folk/blues/jazz artist a little “street” in his delivery. As near as I can tell, Willie has no connection to the state of Delaware which also goes by DE. Hope that clears things up!
The first song on the album is the de facto title track. Thunder Train opens with a nice fiddle kick and at first I wasn’t sure if this was an old-school country album but within a very few bars I stopped worrying and just enjoyed what DE was doing. It’s interesting to me that the fiddle is not employed more in the blues as it is in both country and folk music where it’s a mainstay. DE paints interesting word pictures with his lyrics and you can hear the influence of some of the greats in his approach.
He follows up by slowing things down slightly on Ivory Castle Walls. He continues to evoke some of the greats with his poetry. It’s an interesting take on walls that are built up around fields and the guitar plays off the soprano saxophone nicely. You won’t be dancing the boogaloo to this one, but you just might hold that special someone a little bit closer.
DE gets a little funky on the next song, Kobra King. He employs an electric bass and concert bass drum to keep the beat and once again Read adds a very cool sax run. This one steers towards the avant garde with its approach, but it is one of those that stands out and shows that DE has a darker side than one would first think.
Seven Sparrows brings us back more firmly into folk territory. Everything is stripped down and he uses some harmony vocals to sweeten the sound just a little. It’s a nice quiet song and an interesting choice to follow the previous one.
The bucolic scenes continue with Diamond Days and adds more than a touch of magic to the proceedings. Devon Sproule’s background voice blends beautifully with DE’s on this – and the previous – song and I find myself wanting to hear more of her. DelGrosso’s piano is a great accompaniment to the song and D’earth delivers a solid run on flugelhorn. Good song.
Joy & Sugar is a strong folk song utilizing guitar and flute with decent vocals. It’s a short song but catches your ear. De follows with the jazzy Louie Haryll’s Party, with its surreal lyrics and swinging sound. The trumpet and organ add great touches to this late-night fest. I would like to hear DE and company try a few more songs in this vein.
Southwest Ramble uses a harp intro to coax the song out and it’s a slow build. DE focuses on vocals while Romano plays the harp. The guitar is underlying for much of the song allowing Romano to take control. It’s another quiet song and this entire album showcases DE’s musical adaptability. I’ll be curious to see what direction may take him from here.
Release Them Hounds builds off DE’s guitar and DelGrosso’s mournful French Horn and the song has a beautiful melancholy feel. Sproule is back adding her vocal touches as well. It’s a sad song that draws you in to the story very well.
De closes the album with Swampy Blues, the closest thing to a straight blues tune on the album. This is the one you’ll hear on Time For The Blues and if you catch him at a festival or live show, it’s one I’m sure you’ll hear him as it is a definite crowd pleaser. Good way to end on a high note.
Do yourself a favor and sample the album. Willie DE is throwing a CD release party on November 13th at The Camel starting at 5:00 p.m. It should be a lot of fun, plus you never know who just might show up to jam. If you like what you hear you can score a copy of the album and have it autographed.

If you missed the party but still want to find out more about DE and where he might be playing (and get yourself a copy of All Aboard The Thunder Train, be sure to check out his website: http://www.williede.com/