Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Since Way Back reviewed by Harmonica Joe

Since Way Back
Gerry Hundt
Blue Bella Records
13 tracks

"Since Way Back" by Gerry Hundt is a unique blues recording. Gerry has joined in the revival of the blues mandolin blues music. Having only been playing mandolin for about two years, Gerry has already developed his own unique style. With his influences from Johnny Young, Billy Flynn and Rich Del Grosso, he has developed his own style on the mandolin and has not just copied the style of these influences.

On this project Gerry has surrounded himself with some great musicians. Gerry has the ability to play just about any instrument, write his own tunes and sing the vocals. This made it possible to select who he wanted to be on the record with him to blend in on each particular track. With Bill Lupkin on harmonica, Piano Willy Oshaway on piano, Josh Stimmel on electric guitar and Bob Carter on drums, Gerry has formed a great blues band. Joining the group also is Nick Moss on bass and acoustic guitar. Barrelhouse Chuck is a great addition on piano for the final track, "End of the Day Blues".

Gerry, who has been a band member of the Nick Moss and the Fliptops band for the past three years, has joined up with Nick to produce this project. This is a well done recording that showcases Gerry's musical knowledge, song writing ability, vocal talent and mandolin skills. Gerry brings himself to the task and is also willing to take risks to fulfill his musical thoughts.

Having written all but two tracks on this CD, Gerry can show his true feelings and has the ability to express them. There are tales of women, whiskey, sadness, happiness and a true feeling for the blues genre included in this recording. Gerry's tunes have something for everyone. They are up and down and sad or happy." Bad Water" is a true life inspired blues tune. This is the story of drummer, Bob Carter's family experience with a poisoned farm well. It is quite moving. Bill Lupkin's harmonica licks add an eerie mournful quality to the story.

The three instrumental tracks are the place that the mandolin gets to stand out. The mandolin adds an extra uniqueness to the music which makes one pay attention. The sound just grabs you by the ear and gets a hold of you.

Of the two tracks not written by Gerry, "Burning Fire" by Otis Spann is a standout on this CD. With Willie's piano working with the mandolin and Gerry's vocal quality this is a job well done. Gerry has brought maturity and feeling to his vocals at a young age.

I feel that Gerry with the help of Nick Moss and a fine band has done a great job on this recording. He does a good job of showcasing his mandolin playing and brings interest to an instrument that we are not too familiar with. I like that. I don't see him moving back to Rockford as the lyrics on one of his tunes states.

I am sure that we will all be looking for new stuff from Gerry. Maybe he will play tuba blues next. Why not, when one can.

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