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Grand - Guitars
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available from MCI / Blueside Records, Sept 1998
Genre: Blues Item Number: USA: 00000 UK: WESFCD 107 Also on MC
Produced & arranged by OTIS GRAND. Recorded in Boston, USA
BLUESIDE RECORDS ANNOUNCES NEW RELEASE BY OTIS GRAND LONDON - AUGUST 20, 1998 - Blueside/MCI Records has announced that it will release a new album by veteran blues guitarist, Otis Grand, on September 14. This release, Grand Union, is Grand’s first album since signing with the new Blues label. Recorded in Boston, USA. It is produced by Otis, who is also renowned for his High-value production work on Blues recordings. In Grand Union, Otis Grand has created a powerful guitar recording by inviting his long time friends Anson Funderburgh and Debbie Davies to participate in a TRIOLOGY style CD concept. The album also features the finest musicians from the USA, and includes special guests Sugar Ray Norcia, Tony Coleman and the BB King Horn section, and rare appearance by legendary R&B star Ike Turner on 2 tunes.
Grand Union reflects Otis Grand’s new approach to his latest recording in that he did not want this to be just another Otis Grand release (9 CD’s to date). Since he was invited to participate on the highly acclaimed "Great Guitars" recording by Joe Louis Walker, Otis has been consumed by expanding the project to a totally live guitar recording with his partners in the studio playing together at the same time . "All our playing is first take. It’s got that spontaneous feeling of the moment that is really the magic of playing the blues."
It was planned well in advance. Otis grand began calling musicians and assembling a common ground of songs that all guitarists felt comfortable with. These songs combine a dynamic mixture of Blues, southern soul, rocking R&B and big band influences. Whether Otis is bending, Anson is caressing or Debbie is burning every note from their guitars, the result is an innovative and fresh addition to blues. Grand / Funderburgh / Davies are so good on this release it’s scary, making this another veritable blues guitar ‘ear-gasm’ that will please all audiences across the musical divides.
Otis Grand comments on the release of his new album, Grand Union, :" I am very excited about this new album. I have managed to put together some of America’s best musicians and managed to create my own contemporary blues style- one that is truly unique. I wanted to make a blues recording featuring three great guitarists feeding off each other."
Otis Grand comments :" Obviously any record with 3 guitars would include a lot of great guitar playing and there was a number of direction I would have taken. We did not want a blues jam record - try to out do each other. And we certainly did not want to do that trick guitar records like the HellCasters, or the old Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant wild stuff."
" I wanted to do structured songs and a style that will include our roots in a contemporary way - everything we could do on the guitar."
There are moments when three guitars shred solos in a high flyin’ extreme free for all. For an uninhibited guitar mind blower, listen to the roller coaster take-off and soar of Otis’ intro to the sub-title track ‘Guitars on Fire‘.
Then, checkout Anson
driving his slide guitar through uncharted waters on ‘Don’t
talk about me‘
· ‘ Westside Bossman’, dedicated to label boss Bob Fisher, has that Jimmy Reed Texas groove, with Guitar put through a Leslie rotary speaker, and IKE TURNER playing raucous piano.
· The massive tones and twisting key and Rhythm changes on ‘Bone Tones‘ make this instrumental a three way guitar speak-a -thon for the guitar trio …. Hey !!! who needs singers!!!
For one hell of a jammin’ blues extravaganza, listen to’TC Blues‘ where all three guitarists pay homage to the chops they learned from their mentors and spiritual guitar idols - albert Collins, BB King and T-Bone walker.. Add The vocals and drumming of R&B stalwart ( and BB King drummer ) of Tony Coleman, Ike Turner’s pounding piano, and BB King’s horn section and this real blues that you’ll wish never ends . Blues Power - that’s the word.
"...works like a dream" - The London Times
"Yes indeed , this may be Otis Grand's finest album to date" Blues & Rhythm
"...hits the spot with some of the hottest blues guitar you'll hear " - The Rock Society Journal
"..with Otis Grand ... you get the jackpot" - Juke Blues
CD of the Month" - Mojo , Dec 1998