"Keeping the Blues Alive Award" Achievement for Blues on the Internet Presented by The Blues Foundation
I've heard about Javier Vargas for a few years now, but never had to opportunity to actually listen to any of his music until this CD/DVD package dropped into my mailbox. This is a dual package of a live CD recorded live at Buddy Guy's Legends club and a 60 minute DVD recorded at Buddy Guy's Legends club and Kirios, Madrid. For people living in the United States and Canada, the PAL area 5 format won't play on most DVD
players. However if you have a computer with a DVD player you should be able to play the DVD. As a live recording, the sound quality is excellent, near studio quality, with just the right amount of crowd reaction, without the audience being overpowering. Live recordings have come a long way in the last few years. Gone are the boomy bass and poor
mix of previous live recordings. This CD shows that the band is tight, with excellent musicianship and vocals. They would please any crowd that went to see them at any club. Bobby Alexander vocals are bluesy and fit the music perfectly. Even tho this is called the Vargas Blues Band, Javier Vargas does not hog all the songs. He leaves plenty of room for everyone else in the band.
The CD covers a fairly wide range of styles from slow blues to rockers. Opening with 'Scratch Me Back' which is a Texas style shuffle, and the classic 'Big Boss Man', with kick assed guitar, provides a solid treatment to this standard blues song. 'Blues Magic' is all out rocker, which reminds me a bit of Ted Nugent in style. 'Bound For Memphis' is a medium tempo shuffle, which leans towards Chicago blues. Larry McCray guests on 'I Play the Blues For You' and 'Can't You See (what you are doing to me)". 'I Play The Blues For You' is a slower Albert King style blues, along with Albert King's rockin 'CAn't YOu See' provides some great guitar work from both Vargas and McCray. 'Do You Believe In Love' reminds me a bit of Stevie Ray's 'Tin Pan Alley' in style. Vargas and Alexander work well together here. 'All About The Girl' has a real "Blues Traveller" vibe to it.
Bottom Line: If you like guitar based blues, like I do, then this will be a real keeper. The more I listen to it the more I like it. Some might think that Vargas is a Stevie Ray clone, but that would be unfair. His playing is excellent and he really knows his instrument, and has a wide range of playing styles. The CD is excellent and the bonus DVD just adds icing to the cake. (assuming that you can view PAL video) I give it four
out of five stars.
Javier Vargas - electric guitar
Fran Montero - bass
David Lads Sanchez - keyboards
Jota Marsan - drums
Bobby Alexander - vocals
Larry McCray - guitar
Sugar Blue - Harmonica
Your purchase through this Amazon.com link helps to support this website.
Simply click on the cover at left or the buy button to order other CDs by this group!
You can help support this blues website by making a contribution (click on the banner below for details).
Or mail a donation to: Ray Stiles % Blues On Stage, PO Box 582983, Mpls, MN 55458. Thanks!
Web Hosting & Design: Web Hosting & Design.
Most affordable web hosting and design services available.
Find out how you can host your current site at Blues On Stage, or how I can help you design your own website!
If you would like your CD reviewed, please send TWO (2) copies, along with promotional material to:
Blues On Stage
PO Box 582983
Minneapolis, MN 55458-2983