Clarence “The Blues Man” Turner :: THE CASTER BLASTER

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Clarence The Blues Man TurnerRingo Starr once expressed the cliché “You’ve got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues.” However, it contains a grain of truth as surviving the sorrows as well as celebrating the joys of life contributes emotional depth to the real life blues music of singer, guitarist, bassist, drummer, songwriter Clarence “The Blues Man” Turner. Following his debut Pay Day (2012), the Washington, D.C. area multi-talented artist and winner of numerous awards presents what will be his deserved breakthrough release, The Caster Blaster. Eight originals and three covers receive backing from Sean Graves (drums), Charles Pearson (keyboards), David Satterwhite (bass), Gene Meros (saxophones) and Gary Hendrickson (trumpet).

The grooving funk “Fame and Fortune” kicks off as Turner gives out a familiar blues plaint of “Seems like everywhere I go, everybody knows my name… Ain’t a thing wrong with being famous, but I could use a little fortune to go with my fame.” On the menacing “Mojo Hand” Turner bemoans an evil spell as his “voodoo” guitar snaking in tandem with the tenor sax of Meros. The classic “C.C. Rider” is a romping shuffle, the bright trumpet of Hendrickson and honking tenor sax of Meros preceding Turner strutting his swinging licks before Pearson makes his piano answer in kind. The ominous minor key instrumental “Sabrena” with the insistent bass line of Satterwhite is intensified by the solos of Turner bookending those of Meros and Hendrickson. On Ray Charles’ slow blues classic “Black Jack” Turner passionately enumerates the evils of gambling. Lifting the mood, “Nadine” rocks and rollicks while Turner exhorts “Nadine, why you want to hurt me so mean… Well, I gave you all my love, now you want to leave me in misery” while Pearson hammers the ivories.

The instrumental boogie shuffle “Fender Bender” shows Turner commanding his heavy axe as the ace rhythm section kicks like a Georgia mule. “Happily Married Man” rides an energetic blues-rocking groove. The gently swaying “Hey Lady” lauds requited romance as Turner tenderly coos. Willie Dixon’s classic “I’m Ready” thumps along on a fuzz-toned guitar riff while the entire ensemble exposes the sensuality of the composition. Turner closes with a remake of the title track from his previous CD as the perfect counterpoint to the opening track, declaring lyrics with guarded optimism.

Clarence Turner has earned the sobriquet “The Blues Man” through that mystical, indefinable “feel” critical to the music. In addition, his unbridled enthusiasm and exceptional technical skills combine for a contemporary blues party not to be missed.



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