Joe Beard and Friends Featuring Duke Robillard and Friends


AudioQuest Music AQ-CD1055

Joe Beard, vocals and guitar; Duke Robillard, guitar; Bruce Katz, Hammond B3 organ and piano; Rod Carey, bass; Per Hanson, drums; Jerry Portnoy, harp.

The Jimmy Reed song, "The Bitter Seed," immediately sets the tone for this Chicago blues-tinged CD. Joe Beard's vocals are deep blues on this tune with wonderfully soaring harmonica playing by Jerry Portnoy. "You Don't Love Me Anymore" is a shuffling tune with clever guitar interplay. On "Just Like a Fish" and "Life Without Parole" Beard interprets his soulful vocal style with distinction, especially on the latter tune which is slow blues at its minimum best. "Holding a Losing Hand" is a country blues offering penned by Beard. "Three-Day Love Affair" is a relaxed bluesy excursion with Beard's soulful vocals and some fine guitar work. "You'd Better Be Sure" is a jumping blues with Beard on vocals and some swinging piano work by Bruce Katz. The concluding cut, ""If I Get Lucky" features just guitar and vocals by Beard in a soulful country blues reminiscent of Lightning Hopkins. This is a CD for real blues fans who will be richly rewarded with a genuinely great effort by a bluesman who possesses a unique style. Joe Beard has chosen a talented group of friends on this offering.

by Dorothy Hill

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