So many bands send CD's to this website and other blues publications hoping to get their CD reviewed. Let's face it, all musicians like to get more exposure than they actually do and many of those bands are trying real hard to take their music to a higher level. What better way to do that than get a good review from a respected source, correct? Yet, it amazes me how many CD's I get from average bands doing nothing but their version of "Stormy Monday Blues", "The Sky Is Crying", "Mustang Sally" and all the other over done covers. Bands need to realize that this is the type of CD you sell from the side of the stage during a break from your club gig - not the type of a CD you send to International Media hoping to get recognition.
On the other hand, "BLUE ROSES", by GREG BOWMAN BLUES is the kind of CD that this media person likes to receive for review. It is a very nicely done collection of 11 tracks, and they are all originals. This is the type of CD that a lot of work was put into, this is the type of CD that a lot of heart was put into and this is the type of CD that is capable of taking a band to that higher level.
GREG BOWMAN BLUES consist of GREG BOWMAN on guitars and vocals, PAUL COOK on drums, TERRY HARPER and TONI SORIO on bass, JIM HARRIS on keyboard, PAUL NEWMAN on harmonica and DAN O'REILLY on sax.
The opening track on "BLUE ROSES", "DESIREE'" immediately introduces you to GREG's excellent vocal and guitar techniques. The track features lots of good lead guitar.
On "ROACHMAN" you'll be introduced to some of the jazzy sounds that are nicely mixed in throughout this CD. This track again has lots of nice lead guitar solos and also features great piano work.
"MORE THAN ENOUGH" was one of my favorite tracks. It's a hot number Featuring a lot of good funk coming from the bass and a few good sax solos.
"KISS ME LIKE YOU MEAN IT" is another excellent track. The band, behind GREG's great vocals, seems to be in a real tight groove on this one. It's also the first track that featured some hot harp.
"SUGAR BEE" is a real hot track. This is the one where the whole band is on top of their game at the same time. The vocals are great, the harp and piano are right there, the guitar is sharp and the rhythm section is on fire. This is probably the highlight track on "BLUE ROSES".
According to GREG, he and the band are working on another CD. Hopefully it will be as good as this one, and hopefully he'll submit it for review.
It seems that there is a lot of blues coming out of Boston lately - some of it good and some of it bad. The Yankees losing to the dreaded Red Sox is just a little more blues than this writer cares to have. However, Listening to the CHRIS FITZ BAND has certainly helped to ease the pain. As I always say......"The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy"
In 2002, THE CHRIS FITZ BAND won the BOSTON MUSIC AWARD, in 2003 they were finalists in the INTERNATIONAL SONG WRITING COMPETITION, and after listening to their CD "THIS IS MY CHURCH", I can certainly see them in the running for the 2004 BLEWZZY AWARD.
THE CHRIS FITZ BAND consists of CHRIS FITZ on vocals and absolutely amazing lead guitar, JOEY SULLIVAN on drums and JUSTIN MEYER on bass. On this particular CD they were joined by a hand full of special guests: TOM WEST on the Hammond B3 organ and Baby Grand Piano, PAUL AHLSTRAND on tenor saxophone, WALTER PLATT on trumpet, KEVIN WATSON on baritone saxophone, JOHN LAMOIA, on percussion and J. PACE on harmonica.
"THIS IS MY CHURCH" starts right off with a very hot swinging tune called "LOVE HAS FADED". This track features great horns and lots of excellent piano work by TOM WEST. From here on in the CD just keeps getting better and better.
"YOUR HOME IS A PRISON" is all CHRIS FITZ. It features lots of scorching blues guitar, at it's very best, from beginning to end along with a strong vocal performance. Undoubtedly one of the highlights on this CD. The track is a little over 7 minutes long and had it been seventeen that would have suited me just fine.
"BLUES FOR RONNIE" is another track that once again finds CHRIS right on target on guitar. His style of play on this track, along with some great percussion work by JOHN LAMOIA, makes this one sound like its right off of a Carlos Santana recording. Another of the many highlights on the excellent CD.
"MEDICINE FOR THE BLUES" is all about the horns. This very fast, very hard swinging track features an excellent horn arrangement by tenor sax player PAUL AHLSTRAND. He and the rest of the horn section, KEVIN WATSON and WALTER PLATT really light it up on this track.
"LONELY", is one of those soft, slow, sexy songs that makes you want to grab the one you love and just squeeze and sway with. On this track I can't help but compare Chris to one of my all time favorite guitar players - Ronnie Earl. The guitar work here is flawless. This one had me hitting replay, sitting back with my eyes closed and wishing the song would never end.
This CD completely satisfied me and I highly recommend it to any blues connoisseur. With any kind of luck, the CHRIS FITZ BAND could become a force to be reckoned with in the blues world. I certainly feel that have the qualifications.