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Haley Crouch & The Comet Blues Band - Bring Pluto Back

Clique Records
By James “Skyy Dobro” Walker

8 songs; 29:13 minutes; Very Good


When it comes to the future of the Blues, who will keep the Blues alive? Thankfully, there are youngsters out there who will do a fine job, and one of the most notable is Haley “The Kid” Crouch. At age 16, Haley is already an award winning harmonica player who has appeared on many stages including that of the prestigious Illinois Blues Festival in Peoria in 2006 with Cobalt Canopy.

For her debut CD, Haley had the good fortune to record in Kevin Chalfant’s Clique Records studio with Kevin doing the producing and adding vocals to two tracks (“Killing Floor” and “Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven”). A dream team of musicians join Haley on the 8 songs including guitarists JuJu Kings founder Jerry Lee Gingery, Eddie Nakarus, and Alby Odum, organist Jimmy Caleca, bassist Brian Bridenthal, and drummer Tommy Colangelo.

Haley lives in Streator IL which is also the birth place of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who first photographed Pluto in 1930. Being in high school sciences classes, the inspiration for the title track was too obvious when the powers-that-be decided to demote Pluto from the rank of “planet”. “Ole Clyde Tombaugh must be rolling in his grave / ‘Cause they just took away that one thing that brought him fame / What gives them the right to change the past? / It’d be a whole lot easier, baby – Bring Pluto Back,” she sings. The 3 word title is sung through the harmonica microphone for an extra “spacey” sound while the chorus is wonderfully supported by no less than 9 backup singers.

The CD opens with 5 quick honks on Haley’s harp before the band jumps in up tempo behind her vocals on an original “They Call Me The Kid.” When Haley sings, you are hearing a good voice developing to be one of the future great ones! When she plays harp, you are hearing precociousness that may just eventually surpass her formidable teachers Steve “The Harp” Mehlberg, Brian Stear, and Corky Siegel. Solid blues all the way through, Haley’s harp alternately leads and blends expertly on every track

Relax all you befuddled baby boomers, the future is in the good hands of “The Kid”!

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