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Dave Plaehn -Crazy Man

Plaehn Tune Records

12 tracks/52:47

A former Iowa native, Dave Plaehn now lives in Oregon where he continues his music career that is in it’s fourth decade. Possessing an easy-on-the-ears tenor voice, Plaehn is also an accomplished harmonica player. For his latest recording , Plaehn penned twelve original songs that show a variety of influences. He is supported by a large cast of musical friends who obviously are in tune with Plaehn’s vision. He has a wistful singing style that is appealing.

The title cut is an atmospheric ballad that opens the disc. The piano-driven arrangement of “My Conviction” supports a strong vocal from Plaehn, who easily slides into the upper end of his vocal range. “What is this Love Thing” comes across as a classy country hoe-down tune with excellent harmony vocals from Leigh Ann Starcevich and some fine harp playing by Plaehn . The multi-track vocals over percussion on “Shugum Boom” resembles a more adventurous Beach Boys track.

Plaehn waits until the second half of the disc to get into his blues related material. “Hug Me When I Come Home, Kiss Me When I Leave” has some quality national steel guitar licks from Jeff Hino. Plaehn blows some hot country blues-style harp licks on “We’re Gonna Make the Best of It”. The hardest rocking cut is “She’s Got Kisses (Any Love I’ve Known)” with more lap steel magic from Hino. “For Love Blues” features a stellar guitar part from (unaccredited) Creighton Lindsay .

Listeners should check this one out but don't expect straight blues material. Plaehn mixes up a musical stew that features a stingy sprinkling of blues influences. This may limit appeal to hard-core blues fans. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of quality performances on Crazy Man that would be of interest for listeners with a wider range of tastes.

Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL

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