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Bobby Manriquez & The Paul Speidel Band

Bobby Manriquez - Prayin the Blues

It doesn’t take long to figure out what Prayin the Blues is all about.  It is all about Bobby Manriquez’s guitar riffs, and with good reason.  The dude can play.  Bobby Manriquez has some serious chops.

Manriquez is an east coast guy, but you’d never guess that by listening to this album.  He plays the sort of Texas roadhouse blues that Stevie Ray Vaughan gave us.  Manriquez, like SRV, seamlessly melds elements of blues and rock guitar that gives a gritty feel to his music.

There is only one track on this album in which Manriquez takes a back seat, for a while anyway.  “Henpecked,” for the first three minutes, is all about a thumping, funky bass line.  But then, after about three minutes, Manriquez comes to the forefront again with a searing solo.

While most of the album is excellent gritty guitar-based blues, Manriquez also shows some funk (“Rock Me”) and gospel (“G-Blue”) influences.  However, I have to go a little Sesame Street here and say that one of these songs is not like the others.  Manriquez closes the album with the distinctly soft-rock “Sweetest Love.”  Frankly, it doesn’t belong anywhere near the rest of the songs on this album.  For that song alone, I have to grade this album down slightly. 

This is a really good album and Manriquez shows he’s right up there with any blues guitarist.  Perhaps the most telling thing about Bobby Manriquez is that he receives high praise from other musicians.  When Carlos Santana, Charlie Musselwhite, Nils Lofgren and Steady Rollin Bob Margolin surrender high praise for a guy, you know he must be doing something right.  

  • Visit the Official website.
  • Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online


    The Paul Speidel Band

    I could write this review in six words: “This is a great blues album.”  Frankly, that would be enough because there is nothing wrong with this album.  Paul Speidel plays a mean guitar and is supported by an excellent rhythm section.  It’s easy to tell that this band has played together for a while because they play a tight brand of blues.

    There are no vocals on this album.  It is a showcase for the musical abilities of all three members of this band.  Most of the songs are pretty straightforward Chicago blues with funky bass lines.  The one exception is “E-mail E Rag,’ which is a country blues song.  It is also shorter than the rest of the songs on the album at two minutes and forty-five seconds. 

    To be honest, there isn’t much more to say about this album.  You should check it out for yourself.  If you like guitar and you like the blues, you will love this album.

  • Visit the Official website.
  • Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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