Because this writer is currently living in Oklahoma and after reading the CD's liner notes, which said that guitarist/vocalist Moreland, 47, grew up in northeastern Oklahoma and cut his teeth in the Tulsa blues-rock scene, this one immediately hit the DVD player on the computer for a listen.
A want-a-be guitar player since the age of five, Moreland played in his first band by the time he was 12. After he figured out enough of the guitar to know his way around the fretboard, he concentrated on learning how to play slide guitar, harmonica, drums and basically whatever instruments he came across. His vocals are deep and very soulful, which Moreland says came natural to him followed by the writing of his own songs.
Opening slots for Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, .38 Special, George Thorogood, John Hammond, Steve Gaines, Leon Wilkerson and much of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band soon followed as well as relocating from the Sooner state to Jacksonville, Fla. in 1987, where he formed the Ace Moreland's West Side Story.
"Keepin' a Secret" is Moreland's fourth release (late 1996) on King Snake Records and is his most diverse. It runs the gamut from shuffles like "Bring Out the Boogie" featuring Noble "Thin Man" Watts on tenor sax, to funk such as "Don't Let the Devil Ride" or "Law of the Jungle," to deep blues like "Death Letter Blues," to ballads like "Birds of a Feather," which contains fine horn charts written by Bill Samuel.
205 Lake Boulevard, Sanford, Fla. 32773
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.