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September/October 2019

The Texas Horns
Get Here Quick
Severn Records

Texas Horns

If you’ve listened to a blues recording from the last 20 years or so, there’s a good chance you’ve heard The Texas Horns playing in support. The trio (Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff – tenor sax, John Mills – baritone sax, Al Gomez – trumpet) has recorded and performed with Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Jimmie Vaughan, Anson Funderburgh, and many others. They’ve played numerous festivals, serving as the house horn section for the Ottawa Bluesfest, and they continue to be one of the most in-demand horn sections in the blues world.

On their latest release, Get Here Quick (Severn Records), the Texas Horns not only get to show their instrumental prowess, but their skills as songwriters and composers are on full display. Kazanoff contributes five of the 12 tracks, Mills writing three, and Gomez penning one, with frequent collaborator Gary Nicholson providing the remaining two songs. The trio is joined by an amazing list of guest artists, including Nicholson, Funderburgh, Derek O’Brien, Jonn Del Toro Richardson, Ronnie Earl, John Nemeth, Denny Freeman, Curtis Salgado, Guy Forsyth, Carolyn Wonderland, and Johnny Moeller.

The album features seven songs with vocals and five instrumentals. Kazanoff takes the mic for his “You Can’t Be Serious,” a driving topical rocker which also includes guitar from Moeller, O’Brien (on slide), and Richardson (lead). Nicholson sings on his two tracks, the swampy “Fix Your Face” (with Earl and Moeller on guitar) and the funky “Soulshine” (with Funderburgh playing crisp and clean lead guitar).

Forsyth, with Wonderland on harmony vocals, joins Funderburgh on the sizzling opener, “Guitar Town,” and Wonderland does lead vocals and guitar on the rowdy “I’m Doin’ Alright, at Least for Tonight.” Nemeth does a masterful job on the soulful ballad “Love Is Gone” and Salgado really rips into the midtempo blues “Sundown Talkin’.”

The Texas Horns get to strut their stuff on the instrumentals, including “Feelin’ No Pain,” a Memphis-styled affair featuring the Horns with Moeller, keyboardist Red Young, B.B. King Blues Band bassist Russell Jackson, and drummer Tommy Taylor. Other numbers are the funky “Better Get Here Quick,” the marvelous New Orleans-flavored “2018,” “Funky Ape,” and “Truckload of Trouble,” with Earl and Freeman on guitars. Other contributing musicians include Chris Maresh (bass), Nick Connolly (keys), John Bryant (percussion).

Get Here Quick is truly a star-studded, high-quality release that should be on blues fans’ must-hear list.

--- Graham Clarke



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