Reviewed by Rob Andrews
Mission Blues have been playing as a band (with various lineup changes) for over 15 years. Formed by a then non-musical Gary Pycior, all the songs on this latest offering have Gary involved in the songwriting credits. Picking up the harmonica and learning from scratch, he has developed well over the years, and now provides key contributions with some great blues harp bursts. In a change for their last album, the vocal duties are now with lead guitarist Tim "Doc" Caudill, who entertains, and fits the blues bill, with his raspy tones. The band's newest member, keyboardist Paul Draper, adds a more basic and classical undertone to this collection with some cool Hammond organ sounds (for example on standout track "Been There Before"). "Psalm 130 Blues" is an enticing slow track, with soaring harmonica and lazy guitar riffs. Great lyrics too, based on a great Psalm. I think the key to this super collection of R&B-undergirded blues is the maturity of the players, all aged in their 50s-60s. Their history and experience, individually and collectively, has developed quality music, purely and simply. And that's purely and simply the reason why I love it!
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