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Heavy Hitter

music reviewmusic reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Heavy Hitter

Artist: Jeff Pitchell
Genre: Blues, Rock/Pop
Release Date: August 2002

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
4 stars out of 4

Whoa! Were did this guy come from? Jeff Pitchell is a young bluesman that really can smoke the six-string. "Heavy Hitters" is the best possible name for this CD. Pitchell is totally a major league caliber artist, a real home run hitter. He gets a little help from his friends, namely Rick Derringer, Clarence Clemons, legendary harmonica player James Cotton, and Dave Mason, which gives the production countless years of experience in the studio. Derringer is an excellent producer, not to mention a great rock guitarist and vocalist.

What impressed me is all the original material found in the 15 tracks on this album. Blues is an idiom that has its share of covers available, and many artists take advantage of that in lieu of writing their own material. Jeff does not fall into that mindset, and he sets out to hold the line with his own material.

His voice sounds like a heavy-duty combination of Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Michael Bolton. It is an attractive blend of vocal styles to put the accent on his lighting fast guitar picking. It seems the spirit of Stevie Ray inspires every young artist wielding a guitar. I hear his soul and influence in a lot of new blues music. I really enjoy blues-rock that proudly displays his trademark sound. "Eye for an Eye" permeates itself with that recognizable echo of the past. There is a truckload of music on this CD, and even so, there is not a washout in the entire lot. Every track rocks with blues soaked emotion and fervor. Pitchell plays all the guitars on the fiery instrumental title track "Heavy Hitter." Even without words, the music is scorching hot, and it speaks to you as if it had a voice.

With strong performances like this as an example, the blues will continue to evolve. The future of music itself holds a lot of promise as the burning flame of commitment from men like Jeff Pitchell continually ignites the spirit of music.

1. One Day Away (Pitchell) - 3:41
2. When It All Comes Down (Jennings/Sampling) - 4:27
3. Unsung Hero of the Blues (Derringer/Pitchell) - 4:18
4. Fat Cigars (Kennedy/Pitchell) - 4:05
5. Turn the Tables on You (Greenlee/Pitchell) - 2:50
6. Whiskey River (Shinn/Shroud) - 5:17
7. Ain't Nobody's Business (Grainger/Robbins) - 4:40
8. Out in the Cold (Pitchell) - 4:39
9. Pitch Pitch Boogie - 3:03
10. Eye for an Eye (Pitchell) - 3:33
11. Prisoner of Love (Pitchell) - 4:17
12. Heavy Hitter (Pitchell) - 4:15
13. Hard Honey (Durso) - 3:27
14. My Babe (Dixon) - 2:56
15. Magic Eyes (Pitchell) - 5:09


Ace Moreland - Vocals (bckgr), Engineer
Rick Derringer - Guitar, Vocals, Producer
Dave Mason-Guitar
James Cottton-Harmonica
Clarence Clemons - Saxophone
Doug Bare - Piano, Organ (Hammond)
Jonathan Chatfield - Organ, Piano, Organ (Hammond), Vocals (bckgr)
Bob "Rattlesnake" Greenlee - Guitar (Bass), Producer
Bob Leinbach - Piano, Organ (Hammond)
Jeff Levine - Piano, Organ (Hammond), Producer, Engineer, Mixing
Teo Leyasmeyer - Piano, Organ (Hammond)
Nick Longo - Drums
T.M. Stevens - Guitar (Bass), Engineer
Floyd Murphy - Drums
Ken Carter - Saxophone
Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood - Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Handclapping, Producer
David Smith - Guitar (Bass)



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