Here's another group of guys that have been overlooked over and over again throughout the years. They are all top-notch players and this community owes them many a thanks for years of first class music and entertainment.
"Begin Again Lounge" is a great new CD. Bailey has always been a good writer, even going back to his days with Lamont Cranston, but on this CD, his writing skills shine. He's penned just about every tune, or had a hand in it. "Gonna Walk" is a good opening tune to get your toes tapping. An easy going beat with never ending great piano work, this is a keeper. It sounds a bit like it has a past Lamont Cranston stamp on it.
Joe Juliano is another that just doesn't get his due it seems. Joe has one of the most versatile voices out there, and it really stands out on the second track "Changes", which he penned. This CD is filled with great Juliano tunes that at times, remind me of that STAX era sound of past. They are all great 'make you think' songs. "Cigarettes And Whiskey", "Time Will Let Us Know" and "Love Is Gonna Happen" are all great tunes and good choices to compliment Bailey's work.
Then, there's the track that has always been my favorite ever since Andy first pulled it out with Lamont; "Mississippi River Boy." Live, he gets the whole audience singing along on this one. What an added treat to have guest star Bernard Allison ripping guitar solos throughout. And… way to go Jeanine and Michelle for the great job on background vocals.
Andy lets the Hammond chops really fly on the mellow instrumental "Eastside Shuffle". "Heart Of St. Paul" is another of Bailey's 'good time' tunes that reflects his Eastside presence. Again, great guitar work by Bernard. "My Dog" is a funky, upbeat romp that makes you chuckle on and off throughout. It's evident that Andy's dog in those days, Blackjack, was an inspiration in many ways.
The next couple of Juliano tunes; "One Shot" and "Road Kill" are once again a testament to what a great writer Joe really is. The closer, "Begin Again" makes you feel like you're really sitting in the 'Begin Again Lounge', sipping a few, taking a well deserved break, exhausted after a night of dancing to the Andy Bailey Band. The way Andy and Joe trade vocal lines is brilliant.
Rounding out the group is Craig Gallas on drums and Leon McCormick on bass. Special guests include; Bernard Allison on guitar, Kevin Nord on saxophone, Laurie Glasser on trumpet, Gerry Francis on guitar and Michael Patrick on bass.
This is one CD I recommend adding to your collection for sure. Annndy Baillllley!
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