Saturday, February 18, 2017

Michael Hornbuckle -- "SoulRepo"

Michael Hornbuckle is a blues lifer. He started playing drums behind his father, the legendary Denver bluesman Bobby Hornbuckle, at the age of 13. After Bobby passed Michael picked up his Gibson guitar and carried on in the family business, developing over the years into a fine songwriter, an even better vocalist, and a pretty terrific guitarist. The triple threat! The music on SoulRepo is brought to life by Michael Hornbuckle on guitar and vocals, Andras Csapo on harp, Jeff Andrews on bass, and Desmond Washington on drums. Dave Fox plays drums on "Backseat" and Sarah Snead appears on backing vocals.

What I like best about SoulRepo is the way the songs are all well-written, well-played, and intelligent. Hornbuckle doesn't go for the too easy riff, or the ridiculous over the top guitar solo. Every song is presented on its own, and it gets whatever backing or solo or instrumentation it needs. As a result, this is blues music for grownups, with taste and style in abundance. It starts with "Sweat," a blues rocker. "Me And Melody" gets your attention with a nice drum riff and a strong melody hook. "Risin Sun" is the song I have been playing on my Mo' Blues shows--it has really good guitar work and a soulful vocal. "Candle For Mary" is another soulful blues rocker. "Angel" will be the next single for my show--it is an excellent soul song with a lot of swing and a great groove. "Backseat" closes things down with an easy blues shuffle. A very solid release.

Every few weeks, it seems, we hear of another blues artist passing on. That is sad, and those artists will be certainly missed. I still miss BB King and Johnny Winter. But there are a few up and coming folks out there who know how to keep the blues going, and they are doing it the right way. Michael Hornbuckle is one of those, and his music deserves your time and attention. Pick up SoulRepo.