Saturday, November 17, 2012

Doug Deming Asks What's It Gonna Take

What’s It Gonna Take” by Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones (VizzTone) is a companion release to the recent CD by harmonica wizard, Dennis Gruenling. Like Deming was prominent on Gruenling’s recording, Gruenling is featured with Deming along the Jewel Tones Andrew Gohman on bass and Devin Neel on drums. This release was recorded in Florida and is a strong set of blues and roots music that is as easy on the ears as it is certainly to get the dancers up and on the floor.

7 of the 11 songs on What’s It Gonna Take are Deming originals starting with the title track with its Deming giving his heartfelt plea as to whether his heart is gonna break or what is it gonna take. As on Gruenling’s album, there is spectacular and well crafted harmonica and guitar. I really like Deming's uncluttered, crisp playing. As a vocalist, Doug Deming is an appealing singer and his guitar playing will delight fans of Duke Robillard, Bill Kirchen and similar players.

Think Hard is built on a churning Chicago blues groove with some outstanding saxophone like harmonica behind Deming’s energetic vocal. One Good Reason is a number that evokes Bill Kirchen’s rendition of Hot Rod Lincoln, reflected by Deming’s guitar as well as by Gohman’s slapped upright bass. The group sound terrific on a fine cover of Willie Mabon’s Poison Ivy, with more dazzling harmonica. An Eye For An Eye is a Muddy Waters styled original benefiting from the spare backing as Gruenling again dazzles while Deming's simple driving playing is quite effective. 

No Big Thrill is a fine original suggestive of Sonny Boy Williamson II’s Bring It On Back Home, with Anthony Smith playing the harp here. On a charming rendition of Buddy Johnson’s A Pretty Girl (A Cadillac and Some Money), Gruenling employs the bottom range of his chromatic harmonica while accompanying Deming’s vocal. Gruenling’s spirited, Bella’s Boogie, closes this CD on a dynamic note with lively guitar, a short drum break and dynamic harmonica. It is a performance that again showcases the tight, swinging groves of Deming and the Jewel Tones. 

What’s It Gonna Take is a marvelously performed recording that will delight fans of Chicago and jump blues. 

I received my review copy from VizzTone. Here they are doing Buddy Johnson’s A Pretty Girl (A Cadillac and Some Money).

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