Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Live Long Day reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

Live Long Day
Willie McBlind
Free Note Music
10 tracks/49:55

“Live Long Day”, the 3rd CD release from Willie McBlind, is a very interesting recording.  This band is headed by guitarist, singer and song writer Jon Catler. He plays microtonally fretted and unfretted guitars. These guitars are based on a 64 note scale and enable the guitarist to play the notes between the notes. I think that a bunch of blues guitarist do this anyways. I kind of get an Eastern jazzy type vibe from them. I will let you do the research on this as it gets complicated. I am just here for the music from the group. Babe Borden does a powerful job on vocals as well as adding some autoharp to the mix. Babe is a New England Conservatory trained singer and is capable of taking us on a vocal venture that is quite enjoyable. Like it or not, I get this strong feel of Adam Lambert, Prince and Janis Joplin from her vocals. This is not a bad thing but as I see it. Matt Fielder pumps out a solid bass line on his fretless bass while Lorne Watson carries the music down the tracks on the drum kit. This all makes up one solid sound for “Live Long Day’.

This CD is a mix of ten train based songs and by purpose was released on National Train Day. These tunes hit on jump, boogie and minor blues for their base point and travel from there to a new place. “Down The Road” lets us travel with an upbeat country blues tune. Catler and Borden take us on a vocal venture while trading lyrics back and forth as he chugs along on with his guitar licks.  On a rework of Robert Johnson’s “Love In Vain”, Borden takes us to a place that shows off her talent as a very versatile vocalist. Catler’s searing guitar licks along with Fieldes’ bass line make “Love In Vain” a hit for me. It just ends too soon. “Boogie Train” takes us on a ride that showcases off Jon Cater’s awesome guitar skills as well as his vocal ability. On this tune Babe and Jon again play lyrics off of each other and create a bunch of great sounds. Again I must say that I can’t explain Harmonic rhythm and Harmonic lyrics to you in this short space. But his band takes us on a different music journey and does reach out to get your attention. Their music is very innovative and kind of sucks you in and makes you listen.

Willie McBlind’s “Live Long Day” is to me a very interesting and enjoyable recording. I have spent several hours listening to the CD and researching this group on line. I do not agree with some reviews the Willie McBlind “represents a major step forward in the evolution of American blues”,*(All About Jazz) *clue*. As for the future of American blues I guess that I am still just stuck in the Mud. I do say that I like Willie McBlind and did enjoy “Live Long Day” to the point that I still listen to it because it takes me to an enjoyable music space. Check it out for yourself.

Reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

1 comment: said...

I'm a huge fan of harmonica, I'd probably play it all day by after my high school. Really a great post to me.Thanks for sharing your memories. I just collect my Suzuki harmonica at PIJ. Its impressive.