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May 1998

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Surprise

Hosea Leavy
You Gotta Move
Fedora

Hosea Leavy - You Gotta MoveFedora Records is quickly becoming one of my favorite blues labels. They've earned a reputation for taking underrated blues treasures and putting them in the proper recording environment, resulting in some excellent CDs. Their first three releases were reviewed in Blues Bytes last November. I think I used up my quota of bad "hat" puns in that review, so you'll be spared any further attempts at humor now.

Hosea Leavy is an Arkansas native who has spent most of his years since the early 1960s in California. He plays and sings a very raw form of blues, shouting out his raspy vocals over idiosyncratic guitar lines. The backing band on You Gotta Move, while not spectacular, does a competent job in supporting Leavy.

While most of the cuts are originals, it's Leavy's covers that appealed to me the most. His version of Johnny Taylor's "If You Love Me Like You Say" takes a smooth tune and strips it down to the bare soul. I also like his version of Freddy King's "Tore Down."

Of the songs written by Leavy, two of the better ones are the uptempo "Hey Boss!," featuring nice harmonica from Jay Van Horn, and the slow blues of "Going Blind."

I really like what this company is doing. Please keep up the good work!

Be sure to check the reviews of two other new Fedora releases in our What's New section.

- Bill Mitchell

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