`Blues Bytes
December 1998

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Roy Gaines
Bluesman For Life
JSP

Roy Gaines - Bluesman For LifeAfter the Phoenix Blues Society's extremely successful Back Porch Blues Show last month featuring performances by Dave Myers and Roy Gaines, artists who have individually released this year's two top CD releases, we all were
left in awe of these great performers, convinced as to why they are called legends. Bill Mitchell picked Dave Myers' CD as his #1 pick in 1998, so I'll have to pick Roy Gaines' new CD as the #2 for 1998. Actually I would pick Gaines as #1, but Bill has the first spot already locked up by virtue of his recent laudatory review of the Dave Myers CD.

Bluesman For Life was produced by ex-Arizonan and Rocket 88 Jimmy Morello, who has a great feel for this type of material. This CD grabs you from the opening title track "Bluesman For Life," and follows with 10 more excellent tracks. I played this CD three times in a row when I first got it; that's how diverse and interesting it is. Gaines is a strong vocalist in the Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson mold, and a guitarist of dynamic and influential proportions in that great Texas style reminiscent of T-Bone Walker and Gatemouth Brown.

Among the finer tracks are the up beat "Roy Jump The Gator", "Lulu Mae," and "Jump in My Cadillac."

For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of seeing Roy Gaines when he was in Phoenix, pick up this CD and listen to a living legend do his thing. If you're a fan of Texas blues guitar, this CD is a must have. Now I have to find his earlier release on the Black Gold label. I'm a Roy Gaines fan for life.

Highly recommended!

Alan Shutro

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