Artur Menezes spent time living in Chicago during 2006, 2007 and again in 2011. He sat in on Jam sessions at clubs like Kingston Mines and Rosa’s and got the opportunity to play with Linsey Alexander, John Primer and Buddy Guy. Menezes released his full length solo debut recording in 2010. He followed-up with “2” in 2012. Back in Brazil, Menezes was an educator on the blues and became one of the founders of the “Casa De Blues” society which promoted weekly performances.
When Buddy Guy toured South America in 2012 Menezes had the opportunity to open for him. In 2013 he headlined a festival in Argentina and in 2014 Estonia’s August Blues Festival. Menezes released his last album “Drive Me” in 2015. Menezes finished third in the band competition at the 2018 International Blues Challenge and took home the Gibson/Albert King Award as the competitions Best Guitarist.
This is Menezes’ fourth recording. The band includes Menezes, guitar and vocals; Daniel Aged, bass; Gary Novak, drums; producer Josh Smith, rhythm guitar; Carey Frank, keyboards; and the horn section of Jamelle Adisa, trumpet and flugelhorn; and Dan Boisey, tenor and baritone saxophones.
All of the songs are written by Menezes who switches between styles like a blues chameleon. There is certainly something here for everyone. My favorites happen to be the lead track “Now’s The Time” featuring the horn section; the title track; the sophisticated “Any Day, Anytime” with some great organ from Frank and a brilliant guitar solo; the poignant funk of “Should Have Never Left”; and the infectious “Love’n’Roll”. Menezes can also turn it up with intense blues rockers like “Come With Me” and “Pull It Through”. Menezes crisp guitar notes compliment his vocal clarity.
Josh Smith’s production is excellent. Newcomers like Menezes will continue to keep our blues alive for years to come.
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