Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bad Neighborhood reviewed by Harmonica Joe Poluyanskis

Bad Neighborhood
Dan Treanor and Code Blue
Plan-It Productions
11 tracks/ 53:54

In the short period since 2004 Dan Treanor has released 6 CDs. In 2012 he won the "Keeping the Blues Alive" award for doing his blues education programs including blues in the schools. Treanor is a powerful highly skilled harmonica player as well as a top notch songwriter besides playing his other instruments. As he goes down the road of blues, he is inventive, creative and takes chances with the genre. These qualities give his music a different and unique sound. Joining him on “Bad Neighborhood” is his band, Code Blue, which performs real blues that have a rich, funky, soulfull tone while being true to the blues. Dan is featured on blues harp, guitar, Khalam, diddley bow and also keyboards. Marc Bilker takes on the roll of lead singer while Kyle Roberts fills the background with drums, dejembe and conga drums. Steve Mignano covers the lead and slide guitar for the recording. This group has a solid song and is very capable of performing blues as they should be.

“Bad Neighborhood” is a solid mix of 11 songs written by Dan Treanor. Every single track seems to take a different path down that old blues highway. In some cases this may not be the way to go but Treanor seems to be able to pull it off. “On Fire’ opens this project with some strange African instruments that make our ears perk up and pay attention to this tune. Steve Mignano’s guitar solo also reaches out to get you. With his really solid blues style he is joined by Dan jumping in with harp playing which is also rock solid. Marc Bilker is a unique vocalist who seems to play many roles as a singer. His voice may be gritty and hard, deep and harsh and then be mellow to mild. These traits are all good for this CD. This song has a story to tell of  being on fire, swimming to dry land but stepping on your own feet. These lyrics need to be listened to as the tune goes on. Going on to “Sea of Tears” Bilker treats us to his deep toned vocals and Steve Mignano plays outstanding guitar on this track that has somewhat of a Santana – Rob Thomas feel to it.  Teaanor also adds his harp to the mix here. This is good stuff for the ears.

“Ole’ Mama” is more of an upbeat rocky type blues tune featuring really strong guitar solos and more harmonica from Dan. “Deep Sea Fishing” is a full blown blues tune like we all like to hear. Here we go with solid 12 bar blues  that are harmonica based and telling a tale of fishing with shine, tobacco weed and fried catfish eating. It just can’t get any more  bluesy  than this. Maybe it can, when the piano of Jim Beckstein is put into the mix of things a new level is reached.

Dan Treanor and Code Blue have down a great job of representing the blues with their release “Bad Neighborhood.” This CD is filled with 11 solid blues songs that should be check out and listened to.

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