New Blues: Paul Gabriel — ‘Man of Many Blues’

Paul Gabriel — Man of Many Blues

Label: Smoke Ring Records

(With Special Guests: Duke Robillard, Christine Ohlman, Sugar Ray Norcia)

Man of Many Blues is the new release from Blues Music Award-nominated guitarist, singer and songwriter Paul Gabriel. It delivers thirteen original songs featuring Paul Gabriel backed by a stellar collection of musicians, including Duke Robillard (acoustic and electric guitars), Scott Spray (bass), Frank Davis (bass), Paul Opalach (bass), Mark Teixeira (drums); Sugar Ray Norcia (harmonica); Bruce Bears (piano and Hammond organ; Lonnie Gasperini (Hammond organ); Howard Eldridge (vocals); Christine Ohlman (backing vocals); Mark Earley (tenor and baritone sax); and Doug James (baritone sax). The emphasis throughout is a purity of phrasing and tone, with plenty of moments of spontaneity to keep things lively.

The album lives up to the expectation created by its dedication to Georgia Louis, the great 1960s gospel and blues singer Paul Gabriel had worked with for many years. “Music in the air, blues everywhere, you know I feel good” is the fade-out on the album’s first track, and the vibe continues until the final track’s exit, a hurricane of searing guitar, keyboard and drums. In between, Gabriel shows that he is, indeed, a man of  many blues. The album is a celebration of Georgia Louis’s legacy as well as an artistic achievement of its own. Noteworthy is the variety of nuanced blues styles Gabriel has assembled for this album. From gospel to jazz to traditional to Rhythm and…, Gabriel proves that sometimes more is more.

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