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Bebop Spoken There

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Sunday, March 29, 2020

CD Review: Al Gold – Al Gold’s Paradise

(Review by John Charles)

New Jersey- based bluesman, Al Gold has brought together an impressive ensemble of musicians all based or connected to New Jersey starting with long-term collaborators: drummer Jerry Cordasco, guitarist Tim Rice and bass player Terry Hemmer from his band The Suburban Rhythm Kings.

New Jersey blues is a new one on me although in truth the album leans heavily towards its Chicago cousin with a large dollop of Americana added for good measure.

Al Gold wrote all the songs citing inspiration from the likes of Otis Span, Big Bill Broonzy, Dave Bartholomew and Buddy Guy.

With a mixture of up-tempo dance tunes and stretched out melodic slow blues numbers this is a great showcase of Al’s striking vocals and guitar/slide guitar skills matched with fantastic contributions from the talented musicians he has assembled. Al is also a great storyteller with Tramps Take Linden based on an 1893 riotous night in Linden, New Jersey and Mr. Banker based on the more recent 2008 banking crash.

Particular favourites of mine include Ramblin’ Pony Blues heavily featuring Al’s slide guitar and Boogie in The Dark featuring Cassidy Rain’s haunting vocals as well as some great harp work from Johnny Sansome.

The Dave Bartholomew influenced Got a Mind really swings with Baron Raymonde’s tremendous sax work.  Jarod Gold on organ and Dave Stryker on guitar feature heavily on Paradise (Uptown) and a super strong ten track album is rounded off nicely with a honking instrumental Maplehood Limbo.

Highly recommended. Available CD Baby etc.
John C

That’s My Baby; Paradise (Downhome); Tramps Take Linden; Mr. Banker; Ramblin’ Pony Blues; Boogie in The Dark; Got A Mind; Won’t Sleep Tonight; Paradise (Uptown); Maplehood Limbo.

Al Gold (vocals, electric/slide guitar, mandolin); Jerry Cordasco (drums, percussion); Mitch Eisenberg (electric/acoustic/baritone guitar); Jared Gold (organ); Eric Heilner (piano/organ); Terry Hemmer, V.D. King (bass guitar); Cassidy Rain (vocals/acoustic guitar); Baron Raymonde (sax); Tom Rice (electric guitar); Johnny Sansone (harmonica); Dave Stryker (guitar); Anthony Tamburro (acoustic guitar).

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