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Reese Wynans & Friends – Sweet Release review

Genre: ROCK

Released by: PROVOGUE RECORDS

Release date: Out Now

Line up: (see the end of the review for a full [unbelievable] list of musicians playing on the album.

Tracklist:

  1. Crossfire
  2. Say What!
  3. That Driving Beat
  4. You’re Killing My Love
  5. Sweet Release
  6. Shape I’m In
  7. Hard to Be
  8. Riviera Paradise
  9. Take the Time
  10. So Much Trouble
  11. I’ve Got a Right to be Blue
  12. Soul Island
  13. Blackbird

It seems to be a popular phenomenon in recent times for an iconic musician of a certain pedigree to produce a solo album featuring several guest artists of a similar calibre. I have reviewed several releases such as these and in the majority of cases the end products are impressive indeed, however having read a bit of background on ‘Sweet Release’ by Reese Wynans and Friends, its no understatement that for several reasons it hinted at being more promising than most…

Reese Wynans, probably best known for his stretch with Stevie Ray Vaughan in Double Trouble has a career spanning over 50 years and is joined here by some of the best known names in the business including Joe Bonamassa who is also interestingly the albums producer – for Bonamassa, an authority on The Blues, Sweet Release is his production debut.

‘Crossfire’ reels the listener in with a laid back easy groove, the horn section adding – to my ears, a distinct 80’s sound with the guitar picking up pace and commanding full attention towards the end. As an opening track it’s a first class introduction into what is an overall superb album.

Three instrumentals are thrown into the somewhat eclectic mix of this release which weaves its way through the genres with perfect complementation encompassing blues, southern rock and classic rock with ease and musical expertise – the lengthy ‘Riviera Paradise’ sounding not unlike a film score.

The albums namesake ‘Sweet Release’ is a slow, melodic track with a very subtle country/gospel sound to it conjured up by the chorusing of backing singers but the highlights for me come in the form of ‘So Much Trouble’ which put simply is like a long rambling blues riff and ‘I’ve got a Right to be Blue’ which features a sound I would liken to 20’s and 30’s music from the deep south and is simplistic, classic, musical brilliance.

The album signs off with the haunting Beatles track ‘Blackbird’ which, with the absence of lyrics comes in the form of a piano only instrumental. It is undeniable that as cover versions go, and instrumentals for that matter – this one is outstanding, no vocals required.

The personnel involved in this production are all icons in their own right, brought together in this collaboration, each showcasing their individual abilities, the result is exceptional, and aptly named…

Reviewed by: Karen Hetherington

SCORE: 10/10

Special Guests and Musician Credits:

Crossfire:
Reese Wynans -Keyboards
Sam Moore- Vocals
Chris Layton- Drums
Tommy Shannon- Bass
Kenny Wayne Shepherd- Guitars
Jack Pearson – Guitar
The Texacali Horns:
Darrell Leonard- Trumpet
Joe Sublett- Saxophone

Say What!:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Chris Layton- Drums
Tommy Shannon- Bass
Kenny Wayne Shepherd- Guitar

That Driving Beat:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Greg Morrow- Drums
Michael Rhodes- Bass
Mike Farris- Lead Vocals
Paulie Cerra- Lead Vocals & Saxophone
Josh Smith- Guitar
Jack Pearson- Guitar

You’re Killing My Love:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Lamar Carter- Drums
Travis Carlton- Bass
Doyle Bramhall II- Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar
Josh Smith- Guitar
Lee Thornburg- Trumpet
Paulie Cerra- Saxophone & Arrangement
Mahalia Barnes- Vocals
Jade MacRae- Vocals
Juanita Tippins- Vocals

Sweet Release:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Greg Morrow- Drums
Michael Rhodes- Bass
Joe Bonamassa- Guitar
Josh Smith- Guitar
Mahalia Barnes- Choir
Jade MacRae- Choir
Juanita Tippins- Choir
Paulie Cerra- Horns and Arrangement
Lee Thornburg- Horns

Lead Vocals in order:
Paulie Cerra
Keb’ Mo’
Mike Farris
Jimmy Hall
Bonnie Bramlett
Vince Gill
Warren Haynes
Paulie Cerra

Shape I’m in:

Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Chris Layton- Drums
Tommy Shannon- Bass
Kenny Wayne Shepherd- Lead Guitar & Vocals
Noah Hunt- Lead Vocals
Josh Smith- Guitar
Jack Pearson- Guitar
Steve Mackie- Additional Bass

Hard To Be:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Bonnie Bramlett- Lead Vocals
Jimmy Hall- Lead Vocals
Greg Morrow- Drums
Michael Rhodes- Bass
Josh Smith- Guitar
Joe Bonamassa- Baritone Guitar
Jack Pearson- Guitar
Lee Thornburg- Horns
Paulie Cerra- Horns and arrangement

Riviera Paradise:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Chris Layton- Drums
Tommy Shannon- Bass
Steve Mackie- Fretless Bass
Kenny Wayne Shepherd- Guitars, Solo 1
Joe Bonamassa- Guitars, Solo 2
Jack Pearson- Guitar
Jeff Bova Orchestrations

Take The Time:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Greg Morrow- Drums
Michael Rhodes- Bass
Warren Haynes Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals
Joe Bonamassa- Guitar
Mahalia Barnes- Vocals
Jade MacRae- Vocals
Juanita Tippins- Vocals

So Much Trouble:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Greg Morrow- Drums
Michael Rhodes- Bass
Joe Bonamassa- Lead Guitar & Lead Vocals
Jack Pearson- Guitar
Mike Henderson- Harmonica

I’ve Got A Right To Be Blue:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Keb’ Mo’- Guitar & Lead Vocals

Soul Island:
Reese Wynans- Keyboards
Lamar Carter- Drums
Travis Carlton- Bass
Josh Smith- Lead Guitar
Jack Pearson- Guitar
Paulie Cerra- Saxophone

Blackbird:
Reese Wynans- Grand Piano

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