Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Blues Divine - Shine Like The Sun
06 - Brother, Sister
07 - Axle Grease
08 - Sure Sign
09 - My Father's House
10 - Shine Like The Sun
11 - Sacred Ground
Rooted in the deep southern tradition, Blues Divine, with the leadership of writer, singer and guitarist, Philip Franchini, brings new blood to the blues. His songs are soulful and the vocal arrangements and funky horns are brimming with energy on this new CD.
Pulling in influences from Magic Sam to Robert Johnson and Elmore James, Blues Divine easily moves from contemporary electric to sparse acoustic blues, delivering passionate, evocative performances.
On their second effort Shine Like The Sun, Blues Divine creates a textured album. All of the songs are firmly rooted in the blues, but Blues Divine makes the most of its wide variety of talented musicians to write uniquely arranged songs that make the typical blues sound more interesting. Shine Like The Sun is an album for fans of the blues and clever song writing alike.
Blues Divine definitely proves they can play blues with everything fans of the genre are looking for on the opener “Knockin.” The track has a classic blues feel thanks to punchy, funky guitar rhythms and strong solos. Piano and sax melodies fill the track out perfectly. “Knockin” may sound like what you’d expect out of a blues band, but it doesn’t change the fact that the song is well played and will be instantly enjoyed by blues fanatics.
Likewise, the lively rhythms and powerful sax parts of “Don’t Settle For Less” is an example of the blues at its best. The track also benefits from powerful, choir vocals. Following “Don’t Settle For Less” is “Apocalypse Blues”, another song that blues fans will find impossible not to enjoy. Here, Blues Divine keeps the infectious guitar and horn melodies that drive the album. However, the song features a greater emphasis on piano and organ that separates it from many of the other tracks.
At other points on Shine Like The Sun, Blues Divine adds elements from other genres to their blues foundation. “Down By The River” starts with an organ solo that’s straight out of gospel. The up-stroked guitar rhythms of the song also give off a pleasant reggae vibe. The mixing of styles really helps to distinguish Blues Divine from other bands in their genre.
Later, Blues Divine has success mixing styles again on “LA Breakdown.” The track benefits from a bass line that’s pure 70’s funk. Once again, Blues Divine becomes instantly more intriguing by getting outside the normal blues sound. Blues Divine even has success with a country/bluegrass sound on the title-track “Shine Like The Sun.”
Over all, Blues Divine has all the classic blues elements that a fan of the genre could want on Shine Like The Sun. The band also does a great job of standing out from other blues groups by freely mixing styles.
Rob Sherman - keys
Geoff Nudell - horns
Keith Lewis - bass
Nailah Porter and C.C. White - vocals