Saturday, April 4, 2009

Love Me Tonight reviewed by Mark Thompson

Love Me Tonight
John Nemeth
Blind Pig Records
11 tracks/44:55

John Nemeth has received plenty of kudos from reviewers for his first Blind Pig release, Magic Touch. As a singer, songwriter and harp player, Nemeth used that disc to introduce his impressive skills and talent to the world . At the Blues Blast Music Awards last December sponsored by the website, Nemeth was named the winner of the Sean Costello Rising Star Award and Magic Touch won the Best New Artist Debut Recording award. What was even more impressive that evening was the large contingent of fans that flew in from the west coast to show their support for Nemeth.

If you haven’t jumped on the Nemeth bandwagon yet, his latest release is guaranteed to convert into an enthusiastic fan. He delivers another strong batch of original material with only one cover. His musical support is top-notch. Bobby Welsh consistently delivers on guitar and keyboards. Elvin Bishop adds some star-power and his distinctive guitar licks to two tracks.

Nemeth’s voice is an impressive instrument, capable of handling hard-edge, gritty blues like “Just Like You” or “Daughter of the Devil” On the latter selection, his distorted vocal seems to be shouting from the graveyard over the ominous beat laid down by the band. “Country Boy” showcases some of Nemeth’s stellar harmonica licks before he turns things over to Bishop for a fiery solo. He breaks out his chromatic harp on “Where You Been”, a tough shuffle that ends too quickly.

But the real joy in listening to Nemeth is hearing his voice take flight on the more soulful cuts. There isn’t a note that is out of reach, his voice soaring without strain. Listen to how his gorgeous tone injects life into every syllable of the lyrics on “My Troubled Mind”. The lone non-original, “She’s My Hearts Desire”, authentically recreates the old doo-wop vocal sound and Welsh contributes a tremolo-laced guitar tone that pays tribute to the late Robert Ward. “Fuel For Your Fire” provides Nemeth with another opportunity to showcase his incredible vocal range.

The disc closes with a tour-de-force rendition of the slow blues “Blues in My Heart”. Nemeth channels the vocal style of Buddy Guy - circa late 1960’s , his tones wracked with emotional fervor, pleading for relief. Welsh contributes some biting guitar work as well as laying down some thick organ licks that really bring a spark to the performance. Not to be outdone, Nemeth once again dazzles with some killer work on the harmonica.
Sometimes a record company ‘s publicity department with promote an up-and-coming artist as the next big thing. Often reality sets in and proves the pen is mightier than the performer. John Nemeth has quickly validated all of the attention, awards and press he has received through his live shows and with this amazing release. You will marvel at the stunning quality of his performances throughout Love Me Tonight. This recording deserves to be at the top of blues charts. Highly recommended !!!

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