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Published On: Wed, Aug 4th, 2021

George Gritzbach: Full Circle

George Gritzbach
Full Circle
(George Gritzbach Music)

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Blues-based songwriter/singer/guitarist George Gritzbach gives us his 6th studio album, Full Circle, with a full complement of sublime players lending their talents.

Opening with the poppy “All About Now,” Gritzbach lays us out with well-timed pull-offs and quick riffing slipping and sliding through the accenting horns (Steve Ahern plays trumpet, Dan Anthony trombone, and Peter Murry sax on this record) and snare snapping from Christian McCarthy. It’s a great opener.

“One Race, Many Faces” moves along at a sly groove set up by McCarthy with vocalist Gabby Rossen rising to the forefront. She and Gritzbach mine a well-worn lyrical idea. Still, it’s a sweet song that makes its message plain.

“Never Far Away” showcases what I think is Gritzbach’s best vocal in a sweet mid-tempo tasty gem. He showcases more of his subtle spot-on-playing here as well. There’s some cool percussion from McCarthy on the growly dark spoken-sung “Black Rose.” Again, Gritzbach manages just the right tone to his leading, never overdoing it, even making his scream-wail here fit.

“Burning at Both Ends” is a great upbeat blues-club rocker featuring Johnny Menezes’ organ and harmonica legend Jerry Portnoy. The song stings just like a good old Muddy Waters’ tune (Portnoy was a fixture in Muddy Waters band, actually).

“Better Than Gold” ends the record, featuring a slide lead and a swampy backing, Scott Lariviere pumping us along with his bass, as he does throughout Full Circle.

It’s a solid upbeat end to a rather solid little blues album from some guys and gals who can certainly play this music to a tee!

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George Gritzbach: Full Circle