A well-oiled trio from the Left Coast, The Reels are Lanny Ray, dishing out solid guitar and greasy harp, and the tight-while-relaxed rhythm section of Pat Anthony and Dylan Sardo, on bass and drums respectively. Kicking off with a scorcher of an original, "Jet Black Ruby Red," Lanny Ray sets the stage quickly with fierce six-string and powerful vocals, and a fine version of Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin' " with more strangled axe work. The jazzy swing of "Me & My Baby" is tough, and although "Movin' Up To Malibu," with its slow Jimmy Reed feel and tasty harp is fair, the hokey lyrics drag on too long. "Soul Blue" is a gritty, guitar laced excursion with a great arrangement, and "Everybody's Got The Blues" is another swinging shuffle. Their version of Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" will have purists looking for a noose, but proves these guys aren't afraid to attempt moving the blues ahead. Pat Anthony's "Hold On" roars after the acoustic opening, and "Baby, Baby" closes out the fifty minutes of accomplished playing with tasteful guitar. Lanny Ray's vocals are strong on the uptempo pieces, but maybe a bit too tame on the lighter feeling tracks, and the excellent production work and quality mixing are bonuses. "Bare-Bone" is available at Amazon.com, CD Now, and other online sites, and you can call Longhill Music at (661) 242-2611 for more info.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Craig Ruskey, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.