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John Németh - Name The Day

Blind Pig Records

11 songs; 41:46 minutes; Library Quality

Styles: Retro-Modern Blues, Soul, Soul-Blues, R & B

“John Németh (pronounced like the Jets quarterback, Joe Namath) is a rising blues star; an incredible singer steeped in tradition and with dynamic range. A harmonica player of riveting intensity and virtuosity, he also puts on a stage show with antics like kicking his foot as high as his head.” Skyy Dobro April 29, 2007

“There is no sense denying it; one might as well say it out loud: when it comes to the best young, white, contemporary blues singers, John Németh and Andrew Duncanson of The Kilborn Alley Blues Band are in the top five with Németh holding my personal list’s number one spot.” Skyy Dobro Sept. 23, 2008

“2009’s “Love Me Tonight” confirms that the Blues Blast Music Award John Németh received last November (2008), The Sean Costello Rising Star Award, was rightly awarded!” Skyy Dobro February 2, 2009

As the reader can see, keeping up with the dynamic John Németh has become an annual event since 2007. “Magic Touch,” released January 30, 2007, was an album which broke John Németh to a world wide audience and Big-Industry-Buzz status. “Magic Touch,” is regarded as an essential piece to appreciating music of the 2001 – 2010 decade. It received my highest (and very rare) rating of “Reference Quality.”

2010 finds Németh, assistant producer Kid Andersen, and guitarist and pianist extraordinaire Bobby Welsh creating popular music that will be as popular across ages when retrieved from one’s library of recorded music. “Name the Day” again draws on America’s classic Blues, Soul, and R&B influences, especially those of Memphis and Muscle Shoals. Németh’s song writing is his best ever, and all are original songs save Otis Blackwell’s “Home in Your Heart” recorded by Solomon Burke.

Németh’s top ranked, funky and soulful vocals are strong, tough, and tender as ever, and they are on full display. Personally, I did not find the addition of even more horns beneficial or pleasing, and there is, sadly, less of John’s virtuosic harmonica playing. The fantastic Bobby Welsh is solid as always, but I would have been enjoyed even more of his solos and standout moments.

The track that killed me on first listen is “I Said Too Much.” With its Gospel influence, the lyrics are more soul baring than a confessional. It is a moving and emotional tear-jerker of a song with a Welsh guitar solo perfectly fitting the mood. The chorus is ear-worm catchy especially with Steve Willis and Ed Earley providing nicely arranged background vocals.

“Heartbreak with a Hammer” has some fine harmonica work. Bobby takes one of his better guitar breaks while either Austin deLeone and Jake Smolove add organ.

The funniest song based on every road warrior’s nightmare is “Do You Really Want That Woman.” Convinced he can resist anything except temptation, the narrator “damn straight” does want a try out with the sweet young thing who has just paid him an “ounce of attention.” By the end of the song, he does resist as he has a “good girl at home.” The background vocalists conscientiously and heroically sing the chorus, “Don't you know you got a good girl at home.”

John Németh is so widely recognized for his vocal gift that basically any Németh CD is cause for celebration. His five CDs show the development of a career, and there’s no reason to not add this album for both fun and posterity.

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL

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