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Blues Society Of Western Pennsylvania - Blues From The Burgh 2

Self Release


Taken as a whole this compilation strikes pay dirt about one third of the time. As is the case with most collections of local blues bands, you have to sift through to find the gold. You get the usual suspects here along with the strong contenders. Blues wannabes, tired bar bands and the clichéd tough-girl blues singers make up the former. The mediocrity of some make the gems shine even brighter.

If this was a fair world Jill West And Blues Attack would already be household names to any self-respected blues fanatic. Their polish, drive and sheer musicianship virtually jump from the grooves. Jill’s gritty “big-mama” vocals are backed by a crack band featuring Gregg Krupa, a scorching guitarist that ranks up there with the best of the current crop. He has originality and chops to spare. Bubs McKeg possesses “soul of the blues” voice that he commits eloquently in “How In The World”…”how in the world did the world get away from me?”. His partner in crime Dr. Blue adds a short and sweet harmonica solo to the piece.

Eugene Morgan contributes a workingman’s blues song featuring his gritty pipes and tasty guitar chops. Ron Yarosz And The Vehicle tack new words to the music of “Parchment Farm” on their “$200 Car”. They capture the sound of “The Turning Point” era of John Mayall perfectly, complete with chug-a-chugga harp and “chica-chica” vocal percussion.

Riff-heavy blues-rock is handily represented by The Ian Arthurs Band. Robert Peckman serves up some funky R&B courtesy of his well-honed voice. The powerful shuffle-drumming of John Erskine leads into and moves along the pleasant blues tale offered by Ms. Freddye And Blue Faze. It doesn’t hurt that she has just the right amount of blues angst in her voice.

An un-credited talented guitarist as well as the harp of Chris Nacy add to the blues vibe of Ms. Freddye’s “These Are My Blues”. Angel Blue And The Prophets infuse their “Short Chain” with an infectious groove under her bad-girl vocals. Even though the rest of the offerings are well intentioned misfires, there is enough talented players in the otherwise misguided entries. Hotshot slide guitarists, bass players and harp-slingers give something interesting for the listener.

After all is said in done, this is all a matter of opinion. Maybe I’m too much of a blues stickler. These hills are a little rocky and rough, but by golly there IS gold in them thar hills. As a great American, Batman, once said-“To each his own said the lady as she kissed her cow”.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at

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