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By Charlie Englar
The combination of rock, blues, R&B, funk and jukebox jive is quite a conglomeration of musical sounds for a single group to produce.
Papa Juke creates just this type of flavorful foundation of musical goodness on their newest studio release, Out Of The Blues.
The Colorado-based quartet presents seasoned musicians who seem aptly fit to run through the musical carousel found on the album.
Mad Dog Friedman’s ghostly and weathered voice is a perfect match of the been-down-this-road-too-many-times-before blues slices found on numbers like the opening track of “Never Lost Love.”
“Never Lost Love” also finds Dave “Doc” Dougherty’s guitar riff splitting the heavens like some Jimmy Page studio outtake. Friedman’s haunting harmonica also makes itself know on this sturdy opening track.
“Sizzle” seems to lack something. While bassist Christine Webb’s vocals are an excellent match to the juke and jive music produced by the band, the lyrics don’t gain traction and the overall feel of the song doesn’t seem to fully flow with the rest of the albums’ vibe.
“Blues And Confused” opens with Friedman’s harmonica and soft shakes from Dan Crecco’s drums. Webb is powerful in her delivery of the bluesy soundscape, with Friedman using his harmonica skills to dance around Webb’s emotions. More Zepplin-like guitar work is present on this number, and Daugherty has no problem joining in the sexy dance with the rest of the group.
Papa Juke is at its best, and Out Of Blues sounds its best, when the band is locked into their bluesy, funky mind frame.