Lonnie Shields

Lonnie Shields
The Keeper Of The Blues

Greater Planet Entertainment

By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
November 2010

“The Keeper Of The Blues” is a mix of eleven gospel, soul and R&B fused blues songs that were all written or co-written by Lonnie Shields. On the recording Lonnie plays guitar and lead guitar and sings lead and backup vocals. He's joined by Billy Baltera on guitar and bottleneck slide guitar; Jimmy Pritchard on bass; Chris Sherlock on drums; Glenn McClelland on piano and organ; Jay Davidson on horn arrangements, tenor and baritone sax; Steve Jankowski on trumpet and trombone; and Carol Brooks and Michael Henegan on backup vocals.

The message in the title track is quite clear. Life's always going to have it's share of problems, misery, pain and stressful, depressing situations. But the way Lonnie sees it, there's someone who's always willing to take those obstacles from you - “The Keeper of the Blues.” How enlightening. Along with the soulfully sung inspirational lyrics, this one's highlighted by powerful rhythm from Jimmy and Chris on the bass and drums, and the amazing horn section of Jay and Steve.

I'm only on the second track, “Sleeping In My Bed,” and it's quite obvious that the above mentioned rhythm and horn sections are going to be responsible for many tracks’ highlights. They're certainly at it again right here. To coin an old phrase made popular by American Bandstand, this one “had a great beat and is easy to dance to.”

It's a “Shame, Shame, Shame” that all the music I listen to doesn't make me feel this good. This one had me shaking all my shakable parts. Once again, incredible rhythm with Jimmy at disc's best on bass, and more incredible horns with great tenor and trumpet solos. Add some excellent lead and rhythm guitar combos and wonderful vocal harmony between Lonnie and Carol and this is another winner.

As the title might suggest, “Dark Cloud” is pure low down and dirty blues ...... the kind that floats this writer's boat. If the lyrics didn't paint a painful enough picture, the intensity in the emotional vocals will clearly tell you just how much Lonnie's hurtin' on this one. The guitar leads are scorching, the horns are piercing and the vocals are moving on what I feel is the disc's best track. It's songs like this I refer to as “Song Of The Year” worthy. Great stuff!

“I'm A Country Boy” features the band getting downright funky. And where there's funk, there's always heavy rhythm. With everyone in a very comfortable groove, it's the profound, thumping sound coming from Jimmy's bass that leads the way on this one. More great dance music with catchy sing along type lyrics.

Other tracks on “The Keeper of the Blues” include: “World Needs Some Healing,” “Kayla Mae,” “Broken Mirror,” “Spilled Milk,” “Whippin' the Devil” and “I Found a Feather.”

To learn a bit more about Lonnie Shields, check him out at www.lonnieshields.com. There you'll be able to purchase “Keeper of the Blues” as well as his four other releases. And make sure you tell him that the Blewzzman said that when a secret's this good, it's just too hard to keep.

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