CD Reviews Paul Speidel Band

Paul Speidel Band's Self titled CD

Alice's GardenRocking instrumental blues is what the Paul Speidel Band does with this collection of eight tunes. The band is just Speidel on guitar, bassist Ed Spargo and drummer Brendan Byrnes. It is the blues with a steady beat, featuring Speidel seemingly endless collection of guitar riffs, all performed cleanly with excellent production.
There are elements of Stevie Ray and jazz evident in this collection. The fact that there are no lyrics actually makes it easy to listen to, particularly since Speidel has such control over his instrument, there are no jagged edges or distorted guitar lines.
“Hear My Cry/Breakdown” uses a guitar effect, but it is done smoothly, reminding the listener of Robin Trower. It is long like a Trower song, with unexpected twists and turns.
“Slowburn”, as its title might suggest, is a slow blues. Instead of the usual agonized “My baby done me wrong” lyrics, Speidel expressively uses string bending to make his guitar talk, which is an improvement over the usual way this type of thing is done. He also shows his mastery of blues guitar playing, as does the riff laden “Motor Cycle”. The latter features tasty walking bass lines.
“E-Mail ‘E’ Rag” is a short change of pace, using just acoustic guitar. “D Bop Blues” ends the CD with a bop flavored number that is as much jazz as blues.
This is a great CD for guitar fans, and not just those into blues.
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- Dave Howell