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Kurt Crandall - Get Wrong With Me

Yesteryear Records

From the first notes of the opening cut of this album, “Shorty’s Got To Go”, it becomes clear that this music is fun! As bandleader Kurt Crandall rips into the vocal part, it’s like the ghost of Cab Calloway is smiling from overhead, because there’s a swinging, nostalgic vibe to this music. Crandall delivers crisp diatonic and chromatic harmonica lines over his uninhibited and honest vocal styling throughout the album. His precise technique and sweet tone on the harp are exposed on “Get Wrong With Me”, a duet with Kansas City legend Myra Taylor on vocals. From a lifetime of singing jazz, one can hear all her 91 years of existence within her haunting voice and little throaty nuances as it contrasts with Crandall’s more direct and earnest vocal approach.

The band on this record features tasty guitar playing by Karl Angerer (album co-producer), very solid drumming by Mike Schlick (Dave Specter & The Bluebirds) and the legendary Kenny Smith, outstanding upright work from Jimmy Sutton (Mighty Blue Kings, Jimmy Sutton’s Four Charms), and all centered by the great piano of Mike Sedovic (Kansas City’s main man on piano). The band easily maneuvers from a simple shuffle like “Dissatisfied” or a Chicago tinged blues number like “Take My Love”, to the jazzy and more sophisticated sound of “Gourmet Ice” , and throughout the session sound like they’ve honed their chops on the road together.

Tracks 1,3,6 & 9 feature background vocal arrangements that really add a warmth to this release. Jaisson Taylor and Lester “Duck” Warner combine their considerable vocal talents to create delicate harmonies like in “Speak Up” and then sound like a seasoned 50’s doo-wop group in “Annie”.

With this album, Kurt Crandall has made his footprint on the blues scene and demonstrates his mastery of jump, jive and swing blues. This is an outstanding record with a lot of variety, and but the thing that really comes through is…this music is fun!

Reviewer Bruce Williams is seasoned Blues musician (Junior Wells, Lefty Dizz and The Chicago Fire, Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, Mark Hannon Blues Band). He  learned the blues from some of Chicago’s masters and has shared the stage with legends such as Willie Dixon, Jimmy Rogers, Sammy Lawhorn, Hound Dog Taylor and Jimmy Johnson. His band appears at clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest. He hosts a weekly radio program on WRLR FM Public Radio and produces music out of his home based Highland Lake Records.

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