GRAND MARQUIS

Blues and Trouble

2013-11-16

Blues and Trouble is the fifth studio album of Grand Marquis, a Kansas City based band. Bryan Redmond's sax dominates the album, especially on Bed of Nails. Along with Redmond Chad Boydston plays trumpet, Ryan Wurtz on guitar, Ben Ruth on the upright bass and sousaphone, with Lisa McKenzie as percussionist. The trio of tunes 3-4-5 are the best on the CD: "Reputation," "Empire of Dirt" (the horn is a treat) and title track with its hooky beat. "Ironclad Alibi" starts out so cool with bass--gets a little muddled in the middle--and returns to that vibe near the end while maintaining background melody. You'll hear strains of God Bless America in "You're Still My Baby" with Dixieland-style sousaphone. "Two by Two" is all about swing dancin' and is the most upbeat song on the disk. At 7 minutes, "Easy to Be the Devil" is in no hurry to get the point across. A nice laid back, slow burn. Blues and Trouble blends old school blues, prohibition-era jazz and swing influences while letting each musician shine. Can't pass on Jason Bays' design of the album cover and liner notes--superb graphic arts. Reviewed by Pam VandeKerkhoff

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.