one asked me to write this, I'm writing this as a fan
the reason for this note: Ask me what my favorite CD of 2005 was, and
Ill immediately say BARE-BONE by The Reels. From
the very first notes of cut one, Jet Black Ruby Red, I knew this
album was gonna be a killer. I was right. I immediately started playing
cuts from this record on my show. When a group can impress me this
quickly, and remain a favorite for a solid year now, that's saying
something. Expert musicianship from the band and the phenomenal vocals
of Lanny Ray, this band has what I long for, a sound that is what I
consider to be authentic blues that
Itís music that makes you feel good! Isnít that what its
supposed to do?
How often do you discover an album that satisfies from start to finish? These days with CDs, itís so easy to just skip to the next track, but with BARE-BONE theres no reason to. That old saying The Blues had a baby and they called it Rock n Roll has been given new meaning, as The Reels have put together a collection of tunes which obviously has been crafted with expert precision, humor, and a groove that just impresses me every time I listen to it.
my belief that they have no idea how good they really are. I don't
think they decided to create a masterpiece, I think it just happened
naturally, because of their love of rock and blues. That's the way
its supposed to happen, but rarely does these days. I can only
imagine how the new album they're working on will sound. Man, I
been a great thrill for me to turn people on to this band, because
there's nothing like sharing something great with friends, which I
consider my listeners to be. I may have gone on too long here, but I
just wanted to say congratulations to Lanny and the band for providing
true entertainment for music fans, because these guys really nailed it.
They may spell their name The Reels, but I gotta tell you, this is THE REAL
THING! Thanks guys, for a CD that is in my machine with great frequency.
What more can I say? Iím just telling you how I feel about a band
that's gonna be HUGE! I'm spreading the word, because it makes me
feel good to turn others on to The Reels, who are truly amazing!
Pat St. John
By David Blue
This opens with the high volume R&B of Jet Black Ruby Red and is as good a start to an album that you could wish for. Lanny Ray gives it his all on vocals and guitar with pounding drums from Dylan Sardo and thumping bass from Pat Anthony. An atmospheric cover of Howlin Wolf's Who's Been Talkin' follows and Me & My Baby shuffles along with more stunning guitar work from Ray. Movin' Up To Malibu is a slow, earthy blues paying much homage to Muddy Waters and the afore-mentioned Howlin' Wolf.
The majority of the album is self-written and Baby Don't Worry is a fine example of the bands craft whereas Soul Blue is a slow electric blues to die for. Fuzz and distortion are the order of the day for I Want You and Ray is on howling form. I'm not surprised to be so taken with him as a guitarist when I see that he has played for Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker and Jimmy Reed. This guy has got class. Everybody's Got The Blues is slinky and just glides over you and Early In The Evening will bring you back to earth with its Stray Cats style execution. Robert Johnson's Walkin' Blues is the only other cover on the album and this is the second best (sorry boys) version that I've heard, closely beaten by Scotland's own Radiotones (check them out).
The bass-led Hold On is a standard blues-rock song and maybe would have been better placed in the middle of the album rather than as the penultimate track and the final song is a strange one to finish with after all the high-powered electric blues. Baby, Baby is slow, acoustic and laid-back, not what I've become to believe what The Reels are all about. The guitar solo is excellent as you would expect and I suppose they are just showing their range so I should not be too critical.
This is top class album by a power trio that deserve wider coverage. It shows what is out there if you can just be bothered to go out and look.
By Craig Ruskey
...A well oiled trio from the Left Coast, The Reels are Lanny Ray dishing out solid guitar and greasy harp and the tight while relaxed rhythm section of Pat Anthony and Dylan Sardo on bass and drums respectively. Kicking off with a scorcher of an original, "Jet Black Ruby Red" Lanny Ray sets the stage quickly with fierce six string and powerful vocals and a fine version of Wolf's "Who's Been Talkin' " with more strangled axe work. The jazzy swing of "Me & My Baby" is tough and although "Movin' Up To Malibu" with it's slow Jimmy Reed feel and tasty harp is fair the hokey lyrics drag on too long Soul Blue is a gritty, guitar laced excursion with a great arrangement and "Everybody's Got The Blues" is another swingin' shuffle.Thier version of Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" will have purist looking for a noose but proves these guys aren't afraid to attempt moving the blues ahead. Pat Anthony's "Hold On" oars after the acoustic opening and "Baby, Baby" closes out the fifty minutes of accomplished playing with tasteful guitar. Lanny Ray's vocals are strong on the up-tempo pieces but a bit too tame on the lighter feeling tracks and the excellent production work and quality mixing are bonuses. "Bare-Bone" is available at Amozon.com, CDnow and most other online stores
By Craig Ruskey
Blues On stage