Thursday, July 26, 2012

Highway Sixteen reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

Highway Sixteen
Dan Treanor
Plan-It Productions
16 tracks/66:43

Dan Treanor’s “Highway Sixteen” features 16 songs from 6 previously released CDs that he has recorded since 2004. All but two of the tunes were penned by Dan. This is a vision of the blues as he sees them. He also adds two classic tunes to the mix , “Motherless Child” and “Tumblin’ Blues”, which he has taken to a new direction that is fine with me. This whole recording is a showcase for his unique form of blues that he has labeled as the Afrosippi sound. He has created this mix of music with his strong harmonica licks, outstanding guitar work and the addition of African instruments. Because this recording is based on tunes from six CDs it is not easy to mention all the fine musicians and singers involved. Among the people involved are African Wind, Jack Hadley, Richard Ray Farrell, Creighton Holley, Frankie Lee, Rex Peoples, The Afrosippi Band and his new band, Code Blue. For more info on the players you can check this out at

Throughout “Highway Sixteen” Treanor’s awesome harmonica talent, guitar skill and his ability to write blues lyrics that tell tales of toil, troubles and life are ever present. There is just so much going on in this collection of songs to give everyone the credit they have coming. I will hit upon a couple of the tunes that I really enjoyed and the rest is up to you,

“Hard Luck Child” opens with either a banjo or some type of African string instrument that has a strong drum beat going on in the background. We are treated to some of Treanor’s talent on the Mississippi saxophone as he puts his blues lick into the mix of the tune. This track is one of those straight forward blues songs with the strong guitar solos and a story of the hard luck child trying to make it on his own. “Field Hollar No.1” is a call and response type tune with electric guitar and African percussion heading us down the road. This is a different but interesting way of interpreting the old blues. This track is a good one to take the time to listen to. “Tangled Road” also takes on a call and response theme with a fiddle and rousing  African rhythmic background.

Dan Treanor’s “Highway Sixteen” takes us on a road, trip that introduces us to his form of blues that he calls Afrosippi blues. This is a unique collection of tunes that you may or may not like as a true lover of the blues. Dan’s talent as a harp player, guitarist, lyric writer and producer of music is very apparent on this recording. He also surrounds this all with a powerful list of musicians and singer that have made this an outstanding recording.

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