Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blues With A Feeling III

BRIAN TINGLE AND BLUE THUNDER – “Tryin’ To Make A Livin’” CD ’04 (Private, US) – Seems there’s been this little blues influx here at The Realm lately, and as you can read below, we’ve come up with a couple good ‘uns. Still, all that said, it’s ironic that the one I’ve probably fallen for the hardest is this disc. It’s right from my own neck of the woods and somehow never crossed my path for 5 years. But that’s ok, as it’s here now and I’m jamming on it big time. BRIAN TINGLE is a musician with a lot of respect and history in the Maryland music scene and this CD is only a part of it. I’ve learned a lot about that and him during the extensive interview I did with the man recently. That fascinating conversation will air on The Realm soon but for now, let’s look at his debut disc.

One thing that’s very clear to me whenever I hit “play” on “Tryin’ To Make A Livin’”… and lately that’s been often…is that it’s very varied. Ok, that was awkwardly worded. What I mean is that, yes, it’s blues but that old soul is represented with a lot of different faces. The other thing I love about the disc is that TINGLE is not only a fine vocalist & a smoking guitarist, he’s also a songwriter who lets his passions for his craft flow freely. Everywhere you look there’s a gem. Start right at the beginning with the title cut. The raucous Thorogood-styled rhythm bouys BRIAN’s tough vocals like a flatbed truck and Ron Zebron’s slide solo is a snarling beast. We get our first taste of TINGLE’s own lead prowess on the shuffle of “Whatcha Want Me To Do.” Here, not only is his solo mean & cutting but his fills are at once lyrical and incisive. When Mark Comachionne’s sax joins the fray, it’s a sound to behold. “Rockin’ The Boat” sees BLUE THUNDER (completed by John Thomakos – drums; BRIAN plays bass, drums & percussion as well) shift gears into an ass-shakin’ funky git-down. The guitar solo here, like so many on this album is ridiculously good. If TINGLE’s calves weren’t hurting after this one, then Carlos Santana is a liar (ask me to explain that one sometime!). Elsewhere, there’s tons more coolness to be found: the slow burn of “Ain’t No Substitute” & the whole band just cooking like a house afire in the instrumental “Come On Down,” with it’s awesome modulation from C to D at around the 3-minute mark. In the upcoming interview, BRIAN points out to me the amazing sax work Comachionne supplies in this one, and he’s right. Even the only non-TINGLE-original here, “Days Gone By” is killer. This laid-back tune by Y.C. Yetter (great East Coast SRV aficionado) reminds me a lot of one of The Allman’s old ballads. BRIAN’s vocals really call to mind Brother Gregg, in their introspective delivery and rich timbre. Ron Zebron takes the lead guitar in this one and paints a sweet tone throughout.

It’s a pleasure to find a past year’s CD like “Tryin’ To Make A Livin.’” It also really ups the ante to learn that it’s author is not only a local guy but one who’s still going strong. The fact that he’s also a really cool and musically savvy dude is just the icing on the cake. Stay tuned for the interview but, in the meantime, get this disc now. A Blue Tornado

NOTE: BRIAN also has a live CD and DVD available, recorded earlier in 2009 and he’s got the following cool deals on ‘em all:
“Tryin’ To Make A Livin’” CD $ 15.00 + $ 2.00 shipping & handling
“Live At Shamrock” CD $ 10.00 + $ 2.00 s&h
“Live At Shamrock” DVD $ 10.00 + $ 2.00 s&h
“Live At Shamrock” CD & DVD $15.00 + $ 2.00 s&h

Call Alex (producer) 443-743-0329
Or Brian 443-983-5920


The RIpple Effect said...

Hey, cool to the The Uglysuit on your playlist.

raysrealm said...

Americana fucking rules, man! LOL Hey, you guys gotta check out this CRIMES OF PASSION disc, man, friggin' rawk-tastic!!!