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Happy Hosting, Happy New Year - Rob Ellen
This is the third album by this four piece outfit under the leadership of Manhattan-born singer and guitarist Peter Veteska. It is a nicely versatile blues set, form the chugging opener, ‘Stay On Track’ and the fine cover of Richard Ray Farrell’s jazzy ‘Cherry On The Cream’ (this seems like a good place to mention that guest saxophonist Danny Walsh makes excellent contributions to six numbers here). The material is firmly in a modern blues bag – lend an ear to the blasting, Albert King derived title track or the excellent updated version of the standard ‘Worried Life Blues’ – with influences from rock, jazz as just mentioned, and funk, as on the instrumental ‘Time To Collect’. There is a cover of The Coasters’ ‘Youngblood’ to add a bit of humour, a change of pace with the acoustic blues ‘Time For Me To Go’, and another guest, Texas native Kelley Dewkett, excels with a steaming vocal on Bonnie Raitt’s ‘Love Me Like A Man’, although I have to stress that Peter is no slouch vocally himself. This fine set ends with the impressive modern blues of ‘Lay Down My Friend’, dedicated to the late Michael Packer.
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