Blood on my Hands
Kings County Blues
Blood on my Hands, the debut album from Brooklyn-based blues-rocker Emanual Casablanca has quickly garnered my admiration. Casablanca’s all-in approach to music produces deep and personal songs. That’s what makes his blues honest and real. This album contains sixteen tracks of all-original material featuring an amazing arsenal of guests which include Eric Gales, Albert Castiglia, Paul Gilbert, Kat Riggins, Brother Dave, Felix Slim and Jimmy Carpenter.
Delivered upon a metallic bolt of lightning and a strong System of a Down vibe, “Afraid of Blood” begins this kick-ass musical journey. With Casablanca staring the listener squarely in the eyes, he confirms what we’re afraid of. The answer is him. The blues begins to pour freely afterwards as Gilbert blindsides me with his amazing guitar performance on “In Blood”. Then Gales comes onboard for title track “Blood on My Hands”. It’s always a treat to hear this man play. Casablanca’s vocals are buttery and from the heart. “Like a Pulse”, a beautiful duet featuring vocalist Kat Riggins and Sanga of the Valley on percussion, is a multi-faceted delight. Nestled deep within a cloud of unsettled brooding, Casablanca sings of broken dreams and sleepless nights in “Bloodshot Eyes”. The song, nailed to a hypnotic groove and featuring Castiglia on guitar, is quite infectious. Felix Slim steps with guitar and harp in hand on “Nashville”. I love the swampy slide and the sheer grittiness of this track. It’s impossible to escape the driving rhythm and ear-worm-inducing riff on “Thicker Than Blood”. The track absolutely rocks. It’s shindig time when Brother Dave shows up with guitar in hand on “Testify”. With a recurring riff, and a taste of slide, this one makes for a fun listen.
There’s a definite edge to Emanuel Casablanca’s songs as he presents them as blues, rock, and somewhere in between. Blood on My Hands is a genuinely great listen from top to bottom and I look forward to hearing more from this emerging artist.
By Phillip Smith
Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com