Chuck Van Riper & Dave Thomas – About the Blues (2016)

Chuck Van Riper & Dave Thomas - About the Blues (2016)
Artist: Chuck Van Riper & Dave Thomas
Album: About the Blues
Label: Waldham Grove Music
Year Of Release: 2016
Format: FLAC (tracks)
01. About The Bues 03:24
02. Can’t Rock No More 03:27
03. Do You Know 03:46
04. Free To Go 05:10
05. Get Out Of My Way 03:25
06. Here Today 04:10
07. I’ll Follow You 03:44
08. Look What I’ve Found 03:05
09. Mexicali Jail 05:01
10. One Last Time 03:23
11. Please Don’t Tell Me Now 04:16
12. Perfect Fit 04:15
13. When We Got Together 03:49


“About The Blues” is the debut release by the duo of Chuck Van Riper & Dave Thomas. Although the band is a true duo, by no means would I consider this release a duet. You see, between them they play six instruments and sing as well. On guitar, bass, trumpet and vocals is Chuck and on guitar, piano and lead vocals is Dave, with the drum samples written by Chuck. On the project – a mix of electric and acoustic blues as well as a mix of blues styles – they’re both responsible for all the original music…..and obviously lots of overdubbing.

It took me all of three notes of the opening track to realize I was going to like this disc. The song was “Free To Go” and those notes were from a scorching guitar riff that lasted the length of the track.

The title track is based on some poor soul’s life that truly is all “About The Blues”. It seems that the lyrics of blues songs were written from him being followed and having his life written about. Damn, that’s sad. This one features great lead and harmony vocals with good guitar and piano work from Dave.

This one is a slow, soft and absolutely beautiful love song about a couple that are a “Perfect Fit”. Dave’s emotional and tender vocals make it sound as if he were singing the song to the love of his life. If you have someone in your life who is that perfect fit, make sure you let them know – as a matter of fact, play this song for them. Sensual guitar work is another of this tune’s jewels.

There will come a time in all of our lives – despite admitting it or not – where we just “Can’t Rock No More”. You’ll know it when you “can listen but – not take the floor” or when you “watch pretty girls shake it so nice, but joining them just ain’t worth the price”. Besides being very clever, the lyrics will one day be all too true. Great vocals and rhythm highlight this sing-along song.

“Please Don’t Tell Me Now” is another of my many favorites. The tears Chuck’s guitar is weeping and the melancholy lyrics so sadly and soulfully sung by Dave are – to use the words of a previous song title – a perfect fit. Great stuff!

On “I’ll Follow You”, the guys actually had this usually non acoustic liking listener enjoying what he was hearing. Dave’s outstanding down home vocal style and Chuck’s pickin’ at the acoustic guitar strings have them sounding as good as any acoustic duo these ears have heard.

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