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L.A. Beat

CD Reviews

Dave “Hurricane” Hoerl shows harp prowess and humour on Un-Twisted

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Harmonica master Dave “Hurricane” Hoerl suffered a devastating and debilitating stroke on the eve of releasing his most recent CD “Un-Twisted” and while I and his many fans across the country hope it is not the case, it could be his last.

If so it is an amazing last album. I received it several months ago and haven’t taken out of my CD player since then.Clcik Here to Hear Dave Hurricane Hoerl

“Pure and Simple Blues,” is my go to track on the CD  though the CD is anything but with plenty of layers of instrumentation and melodies.

 Of course the harp figures prominently from the beginning of the upbeat “Soul mate and the eerily prophetic “I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy” and the perky and quirky “Don’t Think it Can’t Happen To You.”

 He has an outstanding band featuring some of Vancouver’s best musicians  accompanying him  including members of  the Twisters and the Hooligans plus Double D Dave Dykhuizen on lead guitar  and bassists Keith Picot and Roger Brant.

Fellow Vancouverite  James “Buddy Rogers supplies a tasteful solo on an ode to Hoerl's wife  “Soulmate.”

The CD has a little bit of everything, wit, a touch of funky guitar, lots of harp, soothing organ and lots of enjoyable songs.

 “Fight of the Century” is an interesting take on couples.
“ Grand Old Game” puts his love for baseball to a Bo Diddly rhythm.

 He shows his prowess on the last song of the CD — the instrumental “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” as well as on  the jazzy “ A little off the Top.”

 “ A Little off The Top” features a pretty piano solo and a sultry saxophone solo plus lots of gorgeous harp.
“ Snake Charmer,” has a similar feel to the Stray Cats’ “Stray Cat Strut.”
This album is a must have for anybody who loves harp playing and blues music.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

CD: Un-Twisted
Artist: Dave “Hurricane ’ Hoerl
Genre: blues
Record company: Full Swing Records


Jerry Leger spins yarns about the beaten down and downtrodden

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Toronto songwriter Jerry Leger and his fabulous band the Situation’s new CD “Early Riser” is an excellent slice of alternative country music and folk, with just a touch of the blues.

 Click Here to hear Jerry LegerHis weather and road wearied, raspy voice sounds a well worn and beaten down as the characters in his songs.

He sounds very similar to Americana star Rodney Crowell, right from the first track  “Factory Made”  which has a beautiful fiddle solo and carries that feel through to  one of my favourites “Cashing In” which is marked by mournful steel guitar.

His voice is immediately appealing as he tells stories of the broken down and beaten.

 “ Pretty Girl In and Ugly  World” is  an uptempo rocker that reflects this quite well.
“ Got Myself a Thinking is another uptempo rocker.”

James Mckie plays some fine fiddle throughout and a beautiful guitar solo on  the blues tinged “No Woman’s Man.”

 On the other hand, “To Let Me Go” has a ’60s pop feel.
There are a couple of really bluesy tracks including  “Bad Ole Dog.”  
Women going through tough times is  prevalent theme of a lot of the songs as he shows his laid back folky side on the sad “Nobody’s Angel”  and “Bad Penny.”

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Early Riser
Artist: Jerry Leger
Genres: Alternative country

Jack DeKeyzer shows subtle taste and feel on new live CD

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Two time Juno award winning Toronto bluesman Jack DeKeyzer is a Canadian treasure and he is ready to boogie on his new live CD “Voodoo Boogie.” Click here to Hear Jack DeKeyzer

 Throughout the CD, which was recorded in Hamilton back  on May 1, 2009, he has a very subtle, and often jazzy feel to his guitar playing.

 The show includes a variety of  DeKeyzer  originals and various jams on blues classics like “Shake your Moneymaker” and “You Shook Me,” obscurities like  J.B Lenoir’s “ Voodoo Woman” and he gets to show off his soulful voice on  R and B classic “Heard it through the Grapevine.”

 He shows  off his jazz chops on “Cinderella,”but cuts loose on a seven minute jam on “Cinderella” which features a tasty saxophone solo from Chris Murphy which draws  some polite applause from the audience and a drum solo.

  The rhythm section, bassist Allan Duffy and drummer David Colter play in the pocket throughout especially on “Cinderella.”
DeKeyzer has an amazing, tasteful feel throughout the set,  which focuses on material from his first two CD and blues classics but shows some impressive licks like on “Pleasure is My Business.”
 He shows some rock and roll roots on “Rock Till You drop,” which features an upbeat boogie woogie piano solo from  David  “Groove Dr.” McMorrow who also adds also vintage organ throughout the CD adding extra musical colours.

I love his  toe tapping take on Elmore James’ “Shake Your Moneymaker.”
He isn’t afraid to sit back and relax a little like on his jazzy, laid back and groovy cover of ”All Along the Watchtower.”
The J.B Lenoir cover of “Voodoo Boogie” and “C.O.D, ” which doesn’t appear anywhere else in his back catalogue,  is a highlight as is the beautiful version of  the slow blues “ You Shook Me” which lets him cut loose on guitar.
The entire CD is  a beautiful slice of blues, capturing   the man in his element— on stage.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
CD: Voodoo Boogie
Artist: Jack DeKeyzer
Genre: Blues
Record label: Blue Star Records

Lee Palmer embraces acoustic roots and lots of slide on 60 Clicks

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Lee Palmer Is doing what he does— playing  laid back mid tempo blues on his latest CD “60 Clicks.”Click here to hear Lee Palmer's 60 Clicks
 His band, the One Take Players supply some fine, easy to listen to  mid tempo acoustic  blues music which veer  lot towards the folk end of things from the first track “ Do What I Does.”
 There is a lot of country, real roots country influence  on the CD with lots of slide  guitar and dobro, especially on “Parent's Child.”

It is not all country, though,  “Waiting on My Love to Come” is a laid back acoustic blues number with a strong groove.

 The harp is front and centre on this CD and he has a crack  group of musicians playing beautiful acoustic grooves including percussionist Al Cross, upright bassist Alec Fraser, acoustic and Spanish guitarist Elmer Ferrerr, harmonica player Roly Platt and Burke Carroll playing all things slide. Wendell Ferguson plays on a couple of the more countryish tracks “Wrong Not To Write” and one of the few electric tracks on the CD “Fighting the Blues” and Neil Donnell sings background vocals.

Lee Palmer himself sings in his velvety baritone and plays guitar.
 It sounds like he got the whole gang together on their balcony one humid summer night, just to drink a few beers and break out the acoustic instruments.

Things are too Good to be Blue” sums up the feel of the CD. It is one of the more jazz tinged numbers which reminds me of Hills and Lemelin.

The title Track “60 Clicks”  is a beautiful tribute to  a friends of his who passed away.
“Changed Man” is a very pretty Spanish influenced number which also features on of many sweet slide guitar/ steel guitar solos.

“ Fighting the Blues” is a is a little more up tempo and reflects  fellow Southern Ontario roots band Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

 His voice is reminiscent of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings' Tom Wilson.
 He ends his CD on an energetic, foot-stomping rave up full of more excellent slide  guitar and harp on “Together We Roll.” which brings together all of the best the CD has to offer — lots of slide, lots of harp and lots of laid back acoustic grooves.

— By Richard Amery, l.A. Beat Editor
CD: 60 Clicks
Artist: Lee Palmer
 Genre: blues/ roots/ country
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