About The Blues

Chuck Van Riper and Dave Thomas

By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
September 2010

About The Blues is the debut release by the duo of Chuck Van Riper and Dave Thomas. Although the band is a true duo, by no means would I consider this release a duet - 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. It features great lead and harmony vocals with good guitar and piano work from Thomas.

On a slow, soft and absolutely beautiful love song about a couple that is a “Perfect Fit,” Thomas’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 Van Riper’s guitar is weeping and the melancholy lyrics so sadly and soulfully sung by Thomas 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. Thomas’s outstanding down home vocal style and Van Riper’s at the acoustic guitar strings have them sounding as good as any acoustic duo these ears have heard.

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