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Rich Fabec Band – RFB3

Mercy Seat Records

12 tracks; 42.25 minutes

Rich Fabec hails from Pittsburgh and studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston. After graduation he moved to Nashville and then to Southern Illinois where he formed his current band. This is their third CD and consists of entirely original material. Rich wrote and produced the material and plays everything on the disc apart from the drums which are played by Corey Kidd. Regular band members are name checked on the sleeve but do not play on the album.

Unfortunately the CD sleeve gives no information at all about the titles of the songs. All are quite short and sweet, the longest just shy of five minutes, but most are around the three minute mark. What is evident from the start is that Rich is a far better guitarist than singer, his vocals are quite gruff and at times he strains to deliver the lyrics. His guitar playing, however, is strong, demonstrating a good range of styles. Whilst much of the CD is in blues-rock territory, track 2 has a SRV feel and the third track has something of a Latin feel, with excellent guitar playing and inevitable touches of Carlos Santana. Track 6 slows the pace a bit with some reflective guitar introducing a sad, slow blues.

There are two instrumental tracks. Track 7 has lots of fast-paced riffs and is an effective showcase for Rich’s skills. The other instrumental is the final cut, a nod towards Hendrix with a lot of wah-wah which I did not care for. Track 10 is a laid-back piece with a hint of jazz in the intro before an electric guitar is overdubbed and the track turns into a shuffle.

Overall I found it hard to sustain interest across the CD. Rich is clearly a good guitarist but the songs had little noteworthy about them. In general I am a strong supporter of original material but on this occasion it might have served Rich better to add a couple of more familiar blues pieces to the mix

Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He also travels to the States most years to see live blues music.

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