Some record companies peddle mediocre talent like the next best thing to religion. The number of marginal acts foisted upon an unsuspecting public each year is criminal. We're talkin' acts that park on the blues charts and get plenty action on the radio and internet. What's most unforgiving about these miscreant music merchants is that they pass up dozens of first-rate acts to pander to the poorly educated ears that they've helped to create.
Guitar master Stu Kinzel and harmonica ace LynnAnn Hyde are just too good to be busting their butts recording, packaging and distributing their own music. Somebody with an advertising budget oughta be taking care of the business end of things so this extremely talented duo can concentrate on the art. Seems like I recall a pretty reputable blues label in their Portland, Oregon home base…
Comparisons to Paul Rishell and Annie Raines are inevitable. This is, let's see … yup, the second male guitarist/female harmonicist duo I've encountered. (Shari Kane and Peter Madcat Ruth are gender reversed). Kinzel plays blister fingered electric guitar, dobro and 12-string. Hyde blows deep-toned harp and chips in a concertina lick or two. They're both outstanding singers on top of it. Able accompaniment is offered here by Landon Seelig and Steve Adams (bass), John Beyer and Gary Herrman (drums), Barb Galloway (mandolin), and Megan James and Lily Wilde (vocals). Highlights abound in each of the dozen mostly original tunes that fill this gem up. Hyde's "(Gimme) Somethin' Fried" ("I been downtown drinking gin and beer/spendin' my money, a long weekend is here/cruisin' 'round lookin' at the boys/me and my girlfriends makin' some noise/Around midnight my stomach cries 'just knock off the booze and gimme something fried'") benefits from her bluesy harp licks and Kinzel and the band's solid foundation. Hyde's bluesy "Got My Eye On You" is deep, deep blues with a feeling and Kinzel's "Mess With the Bread" is a shuffle of the first order. The take on Muddy's "Can't Lose What You Never Had" is spine tingling and the "Muddy Tribute" is a slide guitar workout chock full of dazzling licks. You get the idea. First rate blues from one of the best out-of-the-blue bands to slide into these ears all year. Ordering information is on their website (www.kinzelandhyde.com), or by calling (503) 788-8759. Ask about their live "Still Alive in America" disc while you're at it. Avoid the rush. This is a band with a big future.
Kinzel & Hyde have a website www.kinzelandhyde.com
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