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Nico Smoljan & Shakedancers - Nico Smoljan & Shakedancers (2015)

6-06-2015, 19:24
Music | Blues

Nico Smoljan & Shakedancers - Nico Smoljan & Shakedancers (2015)

Artist: Nico Smoljan & Shakedancers
Title Of Album: Nico Smoljan & Shakedancers
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Chicago Blues
Label: Chico Blues Records
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 38:45
Total Size: 103 MB
Covers: Front

01. Booguiebuck (2:06)
02. Mannish Boy (Feat. Mud Morganfield, Daniel De Vita & Juan Codazzi) (3:41)
03. Little Blue Girl (Feat. Catuto García & Rafo Grin) (4:02)
04. You're The One (Feat. Eddie Taylor Jr) (3:09)
05. That's All I Need (Feat. Juan Codazzi) (3:49)
06. Once, 3AM (5:44)
07. I Been Dealing With The Devil (Feat. Javier Goffman & Juan Codazzi) (3:41)
08. Honey Bee (Feat. Lurrie Bell) (8:51)
09. I Got To Find My Baby (Feat. Eddie Taylor Jr) (3:39)

This is the debut album with veteran Nico Smoljan as a leader. This self titled release is a big helping of straight ahead, electric Chicago style blues. Smoljan is a first rate harmonica player who excels at both the diatonic and chromatic blues harp. This 35 year old is a native of Patagonia and is a long time resident of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Smoljan has performed at some of the most prestigious blues and jazz festivals in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. He has played with other internationally renowned musicians including Lynwood Slim, Duke Robillard, Rick Estrin, Henry Gray, Igor Prado, Jody Williams, Mark Hummel, Flávio Guimarães and many others.

The Shakedancers are guitarist Matias Cipiliano, Mariano D’andrea on bass, drummer Pato Raffo and Gustavo Doreste on piano and Hammond B3.

Three players who Smoljan has also performed with at festivals are guests on this album. They are Eddie Taylor Jr., Lurrie Bell and Mud Morganfield.

The album opens with a Smoljan instrumental. He demonstrates right out of the chute he has a full robust sound with exceptional tone. Then it is on to a song that probably shouldn’t be covered and that is Muddy Waters’ adaptation of the Bo Diddley tune I’m a Man entitled, Mannish Boy. Since Muddy’s son Larry “Mud” Morganfield is singing the tune, we can let it slide.

Then it is on to another Smoljan instrumental. This slow blues is in the spirit of Little Walter. It features Arthur “Catuto” Garcia on loan from Brazil’s The Headcutters and guitarist Rafo Grin.

Then Eddie Taylor Jr. makes the first of two appearances on the CD. Here he sings and plays guitar on the Jimmy Rogers tune, You’re the One. On the Magic Sam tune, That’s All I Need, Smoljan makes his only vocal contribution to the album. This is followed up by another slow Smoljan instrumental, Once, 3AM which features his fine chromatic abilities.

Javier Goffman sings the John Lee Williamson (Sonny Boy 1) tune I Been Dealing with the Devil. Lurrie Bell sings and plays guitar on an almost nine minute workout of Muddy’s Honey Bee. The album closes with Eddie Taylor Jr. singing and playing guitar on one of his dad’s tunes, I Got To Find My Baby.

This album is imbued with stellar musicianship from top to bottom by players whose hard work, practice and study are evident on every track. The band’s deep devotion, dedication and reverence to this type of material is clearly evident. The album’s production is also top shelf. I look forward to hearing more from Nico Smoljan & Shakedancers.

This is the surprise album of 2015 and is definitely a contender for New Artist Debut Album of the Year.? ~David Mac

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