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Dan Treanor and Frankie Lee

African Wind (Northern Blues)

Dan Treanor is a veteran of the Denver scene, having served as the backbone for a bluesy band called Arc Light. However, his brightest work to date can be found on African Wind, a disc released by Northern Blues, the Canadian imprint that helped the rest of the planet discover local singer-songwriter Otis Taylor.

Collaborating with Treanor is Frankie Lee, a California-based vocalist whose sense of soul has been tested by time: The cousin of funkster Johnny "Guitar" Watson, he was part of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue in the early '60s. The CD finds the duo digging deeply into the roots of their influences with the help of devices such as a khalam, an African variation on the guitar that Treanor made by hand, and traditional instruments like the kalimba (a thumb piano) and the djembe (a hand drum). These tools give an exotic feel to the evocative title cut and "The Groit Man," a track heavy on the hoodoo.

When it comes to the blues, African Wind is a breath of fresh air.

 
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