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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
The fourth album by this Brazilian singer, guitarist and bandleader opens with a couple of nicely traditional-sounding blues numbers; that perhaps isn’t not too surprising when you learn that Artur has spent time in Chicago jamming with people like the veterans Buddy Guy, his brother Phil Guy, and John Primer and that he is currently based in Los Angeles, California. The third track, ‘Come With Me’, moves into heavy riffing blues-rock territory, then Artur switches to a B.B. King sound on ‘Any Day, Anytime’. Note too that Artur composed all ten songs himself and he has a fine singing voice – there’s not a trace of a Brazilian accent that I can hear. There is more than a hint of the great Albert Collins in the funky blues arrangement, the horns and especially the guitar work of ‘Should Have Never Left’, whilst ‘Love ‘N’ Roll’ is a nicely, swinging up tempo number; a couple of straight-forward blues numbers keep things moving along, before the jazz- and soul-tinged ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind’ provides a change of approach, and the album closes out with guitar work in Hendrix territory.
Josh Smith, making a name for himself in his own right on the blues-rock scene, produced the album and plays rhythm guitar on four numbers. Stylistically Keep Pushing is something of a varied set, but one that is well worth a listen, particularly if your musical interests focus on the contemporary blues scene.
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